On the Heels of WannaCry, Petya Ransomware Attack Mushrooms Globally from Ukraine


The Culprit: Petya Ransomware

Cyberattacks starting in the Ukraine and spreading globally of an infection known as Petya Ransomware have spread through large firms including the advertiser WPP, food company Mondelez, legal firm DLA Piper and Danish shipping and transport firm Maersk, leading to PCs and large networks being locked up and held for ransom.

This comes on the heels of the infamous WannaCry Attacks of a few months ago. The WannaCry attacks had affected over 200,000 computers in over 150 countries of users of systems mostly running on the Windows 7 operating system. It was an infection that had been said to be originally developed by the NSA for use against foreign enemies but somehow got into dishonest hands. Windows had issued a patch to prevent the infection back in March of this year but many users had failed to update their systems in time. Petya is more effective in spreading itself than WannaCry due to the fact that it exposes Eternal Blue vulnerability in the Windows operating systems and will make multiple attempts to try to get around known patches in order to infect systems.

“The N.S.A. needs to take a leadership role in working closely with security and operating system platform vendors such as Apple and Microsoft to address the plague that they’ve unleashed,” said Golan Ben-Oni, the global chief information officer at IDT.

Interestingly enough, the Petya infection originated from a software updating mechanism needed by Accounting Firms that were working specifically with the Ukrainian government.

The Demand: $300.00 in Bitcoin

The popular new form of online currency Bitcoin is requested with this latest mega-infection. A demand for $300.00 is what is being reported by most outlets. The ransom demand follows the current popular model with hackers of locking up files for a designated amount of time until they are permanently deleted if the victims do not or can not pay the requested amount.

Because the ransomware used multiple ways to spread on Tuesday, even those who used the Microsoft patch issued in March could be vulnerable and potential targets for later attacks, according to researchers at F-Secure, a Finnish cybersecurity firm.

The Culprits: To Be Determined

With every cyberattack the natural question is always, “Who stands to gain from the compromise of the businesses or governmental agencies compromised?” As more information rolls in there should be no shortage of fingers being pointed over the next couple of weeks.

One thing is certain. With the government consistently looking to develop new cyber weapons, they are accountable for the security of these weapons, which have the potential to wreak havoc and bring disorder to the lives of ordinary citizens.

How do you protect yourself online? Share your methods in the comment section below.





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