Computer networks restored after cyber attacks in Ukraine

Using some of the same exploits as the WannaCry ransomware that struck last month, this version of Petya has the ability to worm through computer networks, gathering passwords and credentials and spreading itself.

Petya is still affecting airports and ATMs in Ukraine and hampering global businesses from the shipping giant Maersk to the drug company Merck.

Microsoft said in a security update that the attack has hit 64 countries so far, including Russia, Brazil, and the US.

It is also understood that TNT employees were unable to do work today, and some took half-day leave. And tech managers at companies around the world - from Maersk, the Danish shipping conglomerate, to Merck, the drug giant in the United States - were scrambling to respond.

A Cadbury chocolate factory in Australia was hit by the virus.

In a Facebook post, MEDoc confirmed it had been hacked but denied responsibility for originating the attack.

The new attack is believed to have used the same National Security Agency hacking tool, Eternal Blue, that was used in the "WannaCry" crisis in May.

"The state government has also asked for cyber support from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), the national team for cyber security".

The incidents occurred as a Ukrainian military intelligence official, Col. Maxim Shapoval, was killed by a auto bomb as he drove through Kiev. Home Credit bank, one of Russia's top 50 lenders, was paralysed, with all of its offices closed, according to the RBC news website.

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A USA military official told AFP the drone was "on a run toward our folks to drop a munition on them" and was shot down in self-defence.

Businesses and government organizations in Russian Federation and Ukraine are among the most severely affected.

The private terminal, one of three at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, was operated by Maersk.

"We have been informed that the operations at GTI have come to a standstill because their systems are down (due to the malware attack)".

The ransomware also hurt Australian branches of worldwide companies.

By late Tuesday, roughly $8,500 had been deposited in Bitcoin accounts linked to the attack.

One of the victims of Tuesday's cyber attack, a Ukrainian media company, said its computers were blocked and it had received a demand for $300 worth of the Bitcoin crypto-currency to restore access to its files. He says this attack is more sophisticated than WannaCry because of the way it spreads through networks.

Also at risk are embedded computer systems - for example those that run public infrastructure - which are often connected to networks but not updated. In last month more than 3,00,00 computers infected with this virus. "We are assessing the situation and are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible and we regret any inconvenience to our customers".

"Microsoft stock prices will rise as Wannacry and Petya incidents have already taught organisations around the world the golden lesson of not using pirated software and always to patch on time", he said.

Ukraine was the focal point of the new cyber-attack, with its government computer network brought down as a result. This has led to the researchers to dub the unknown ransomware as "NotPetya" for reporting purposes.

  • Ronnie Bowen