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Computer users rush to reboot

Thursday, 29 June 2017


Kiev: Thousands of computer users across the globe scrambled to reboot after a wave of ransomware cyberattacks spread from Ukraine and Russia through Europe to the United States.

The virus, which demanded a payment worth US$300 as it locked up files at companies and government agencies including the Chernobyl nuclear site, appeared similar to the WannaCry ransomware that swept the world last month.

But the new attack appeared much smaller in scale, with global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab estimating the number of victims at 2,000.

There was no immediate indication of who was responsible. Some IT specialists identified the newcomer as “Petrwrap”, a modified version of ransomware called Petya which circulated last year. But Kaspersky described it as a new form of ransomware.

The government of Ukraine, where the attacks were first reported and appeared most severe, said the attack had been halted, but key organisations were still reporting problems.

“The large-scale cyberattack on corporate and government networks that happened yesterday on June 27 has been stopped,” the government said in a statement.

“The situation is under the complete control of cybersecurity experts and they are now working on recovering lost data,” it said, adding that all “strategic enterprises” were functioning as normal.

Despite the assurances, employees at the Chernobyl nuclear site were continuing to use hand-held Geiger counters to measure radiation levels after the monitoring system was shut down by the hack.

Online arrivals and departures information for Kiev’s main Boryspil airport also remained down, but its director said the hub was otherwise fully operational.

Meanwhile, systems at the major lender Oschadbank still appeared crippled, while a delivery service and energy supplier said they were also facing some difficulties.

Source by: Internet

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