Global wave of cyberattacks hit India's largest port

Hackers strike across Europe, sparking widespread disruption

Given the size but disparate nature of the targets - including the Ukrainian central bank, Russia's state oil company Rosneft, British advertising firm WPP, and USA law firm DLA Piper - it appears, initially at least, that the attack was meant to generate chaos and confusion rather than money.

In Amsterdam, the Dutch parcel delivery company TNT, which operates in 200 countries around the world, said its systems had been affected.

The American pharmaceutical company Merck announced that it was hit by the attacks.

They include big global brands like snack maker Mondelez (MDLZ), British advertising giant WPP (WPPGF) and the real estate division of French bank BNP Paribas.

The Hong Kong website of DLA Piper published an important note to clients saying "We are now dealing with a serious global cyber incident" adding that "we have taken down our systems as a precautionary measure which will mean you are now unable to contact us by email or landline".

A Symatntc press release says the new attack uses the same EternalBlue exploit as WannaCry.

How is this different from WannaCry?

The attacks started around 2:00 pm Moscow time (1100GMT) and quickly spread to 80 companies in Ukraine and Russian Federation, said cybersecurity company Group IB.

The ransomware - as is the wont of this category of malware - is encrypting the hard drives of infected computers and demanding $300 in return for the drive to be decrypted. WannaCry also leveraged the EternalBlue exploit, which was leaked as part of a trove of hacking tools believed to belong to the NSA.


"Our initial analysis found that the ransomware uses multiple techniques to spread, including one which was addressed by a security update previously provided for all platforms from Windows XP to Windows 10 (MS17-010)", a Microsoft spokesperson told AFP.

DHS is "monitoring reports of cyberattacks affecting multiple global entities and is coordinating with our worldwide and domestic cyber partners", said McConnell.

The virus is believed to have first taken hold on Tuesday in Ukraine where it silently infected computers after users downloaded a popular tax accounting package or visited a local news site, national police and global cyber experts said. "We stand ready to support any requests for assistance".

Officials said the Kenilworth, New Jersey-based company was investigating the incident but provided no further details.

According to security firm Cisco Talos, the ransomware initially infected MeDoc, a piece of Ukranian accounting software.

"If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible, because they are encrypted", the ransom note reads. That is, a program that makes copies of itself to spread to other computers.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko tweeted a picture of a computer screen showing an error message.

In the Netherlands one of Europe's largest container terminals at Rotterdam was forced to switch to manual operations Wednesday due to the attack.

"The company's servers underwent a powerful hacking attack", the company said on Twitter. The radiation monitoring system at Chernobyl was taken offline, forcing employees to use hand-held counters to measure levels at the former nuclear plant's exclusion zone. It instructs victims to contact the hacker via email once they have sent the money, to get the key needed to decrypt their files and get the money back. "All businesses should immediately update their Windows operating system with the latest security patches and there are instructions on the ACSC website to do this", he maintained according to Australian Financial Review.

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