A new virus, Petya, attacks Europe!
It’s not been long since we had the WannaCry Ransomware attack, and already, there is a new ransomware striking the world. Petya has struck Europe and has proved to be a really vicious ransomware to which, so far there have been no real answers.
Petya has so far hit the Government of Ukraine, various banks and electricity grids in that country, large companies such as Evraz and Rosneft in Russia, AP Moller-Maersk in Denmark and Saint-Gobain in France. Eastern Europe seems to be most affected by this ransomware.
Anders Rosendahl, a spokesperson for AP Moller-Maersk said, “We are talking about a cyber-attack. It has affected all branches of our business, at home and abroad.” The company says that 17 of its shipping container terminals have been affected by the cyber attack.
In Ukraine, the entire computer system of the government has been shut down. The ransomware is because of a virus called as Petya, which infects computers mostly in large organizations.
Petya is compared to WannaCry, which hit over 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries, shutting down the National Health Service in the UK for a day or two, bringing down the Spanish phone company Telefónica and hitting the German railway system.
So far Petya has hit Ukraine very badly. This follows a series of cyber attacks on Ukraine’s power grid. Security chiefs in the country have called for the government to invest more in boosting its security.
The central bank in Ukraine says that an unknown virus was responsible for shutting down its computers. It said in a statement, “As a result of these cyber-attacks, these banks are having difficulties with client services and carrying out banking operations. The central bank is confident that the banking infrastructure’s defence against cyberfraud is properly set up and attempted cyber-attacks on banks’ IT systems will be neutralized.”
The government run power distributor, Ukrenergo has said that their computer systems have been badly hit by the cyber attack, but the electrical supply lines have stayed intact.
Generally, Ukraine blamces Russia for all cyber attacks, such as one that brought its power grid down in 2015. But it can be said that Russia is not directly responsible for Petya, as this ransomware has hit many large Russian companies as well, such as Rosneft.
So far there is not much information on how to prevent your computer from getting hit by this new ransomware, Petya. But to be sure, never click on an email you don’t trust and never download a file from a source that you don’t trust. Disable macros if you are using MS Word and avoid downloading Zip files.
Author: Raghav Hegde – India