Several organisations in Europe and the US have been crippled by a ransomware attack dubbed Petya, also known as PetWrap.
Petya is the latest entrant in a lineup of potent ransomware attacks that deny access to computer systems, and it has affected the world after starting from Ukraine. In India, operations at the nation’s largest container port JNPT, Mumbai were impacted last night, as a fallout of the global ransomware attack, which crippled some central banks and many large corporations in Europe.
The malicious software has spread through large firms. It’s the second major global ransomware attack in the last two months. In early May, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) was among the organisations infected by WannaCry.
While, WannaCry attack was stopped by a 22-year-old British security researcher Marcus Hutchins, who reportedly created a ‘kill-switch’. But, security experts have said that Petya might not have a kill switch, which means that it might be harder to stop.
The Petya ransomware takes over computers and demands $300, according to various security researchers. The malicious software spreads rapidly across an organisation once a computer is infected using the EternalBlue vulnerability in Microsoft Windows (Microsoft has released a patch, but not everyone will have installed it) or through two Windows administrative tools.
This message is flashed on a computer, “If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible because they are encrypted. Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don’t waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.”
There is no clarity on who is actually responsible for the cyber attack. However, the impact of the ransomware has been serious.
According to an AP report, government offices, energy companies, banks, cash machines, gas stations, and supermarkets, in Ukraine have been affected. Even the Ukrainian Railways, Ukrtelecom, and the Chernobyl power plant have been impacted by the attack.
Meanwhile, MNCs like law firm DLA Piper, shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, drugmaker Merck as well as Mondelez International, which is the owner of food brands such as Oreo, Cadbury, was also impacted.
In the US, some hospitals have also been impacted by this cyber attack. Poland, Italy and Germany are other countries affected by the cyber attack. Meanwhile, in India, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port has been impacted given Moller-Maersk operates the Gateway Terminals India (GTI) at JNPT.
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