CyberCrimeSecuritySecurity Management

Massive Ransomware Attack Hits Ukraine And Is Spreading Across The Globe

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

Follow on:

UK advertising and marketing giant WPP has been hit by a variant of the Petya ransomware

Another massive ransomware attack has broken out in Ukraine and appears to be spreading across the world in a similar vein of the WannaCry cyber attack.

The attack appears to be a variant of the Petya ransomware that has already been spotted in the cyber security wilds before, and hit multiple organisations in Ukraine, including the nation’s state power distributor,  the National Bank of Ukraine and Kiev’s main airport. 

Now the ransomware appears to have gone global with British advertising and marketing giant WPP noting that IT systems in several of the agencies it owns have been hit by the ransomware, which demands victims send $300 (£234) worth of  Bitcoins to the hackers. 

Companies in the Netherlands, Russia, and Germany. amongst others, are also reporting ransomware attacks. 

Petya panic 

Petya ransomwareGCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre noted it is leeping a close eye to the spread of Petya:  “We are aware of a global ransomware incident and are monitoring the situation closely.”

Further details of the cyber attacks, how they have spread and what types of systems Petya is attacking have yet to surface. Some speculation is laying blame at the doorstep of Russia, which has a rather tense relationship with Ukraine. 

Malwabytes malware analyst Hasherezade, noted the cyber security firm is looking into the attacks as they develop. 
 
“We are researching the attack as we speak, and so far it is too soon to tell the extent. What we have uncovered is that the ransomware seems to be distributed by Server Message Block (SMB), which is the same as the WannaCry incident that came before it,” she said. 
 
Given how quickly WannaCry spread and the havoc it wreaked, it is no surprise that a similar ransomware attack would follow suit. So far, no quick fix for Petya has surfaced as it did with the WannaCry workaround identified by a lone cyber security expert