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Ukraine Firm Denies Responsibility For NotPetya Cyber Attack

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

‘It wasn’t us guv,’ claim Ukrainian creators of suspected software

A family-run Ukrainian firm has denied any responsibility for last month’s ransomware attack that originated in the Ukraine before spreading around the world.

Dubbed ‘NotPetya by security experts due to its similarities to the previously-detected Petya ransomware, the virus impacted the computer systems of several high-profile companies in multiple different industries.

Investigators are still working to determine the exact origin and perpetrators of the attack but, speaking to Reuters, the father and daughter who run Intellect Service in the Ukraine have said it was nothing to do with them.

NotPetya

NotPetya attack

Various security companies investigating the attack have suggested that the tax software programme developed by Intellect Service was the source of some of the initial infections.

They claim the ransomware was spread to customers of the M.E.Doc software, known to be Ukraine’s most popular accounting tool, via an update, a ploy which would have enabled the hackers to target hundreds of companies in one go.

But Sergei and Olesya Linnik, the team behind the software, have said there is no evidence of any such infection occurring: “What has been established in these days, when no one slept and only worked? We studied and analysed our product for signs of hacking – it is not infected with a virus and everything is fine, it is safe,” said Olesya.

“The update package, which was sent out long before the virus was spread, we checked it 100 times and everything is fine.”

She added that the company is cooperating with the police to help find the source of the virus before reiterating its innocence: “The cyber police are currently bogged down in the investigation, we gave them the logs of all our servers and there are no traces that our servers spread this virus.”

“M.E.Doc is a transportation product, it delivers documents. But is an email program guilty in the distribution of a virus? Hardly.”

The NotPetya attack came hot on the heels of another global ransomware outbreak in the form of WannaCry, which quickly spread and caused havoc in all corners of the globe.

North Korean hackers have been blamed for the attack, with the only silver lining being that it has firmly pushed the issue of cyber security into public consciousness. 

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