Massive Ransomware Attack Spreading Around the World

Companies across the globe are reporting system disruptions
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2017 12:20 PM CDT
Massive Ransomware Attack Spreading Around the World
Stock image.   (Getty Images / Hailshadow)

A massive cyberattack has hit computer systems around the world, the BBC reports. The ransomware attack, which is believed to be a well-known strain called Petya (the updated version is called Petrwrap), was first reported in Ukraine but has quickly spread to Spain, France, Russia, and other countries. Coverage of the malware attack:

  • Some of the affected companies and organizations include British advertising agency WPP, Ukraine's state power distributor, Kiev's main airport, the Ukrainian central bank, aircraft manufacturer Antonov, two postal services, Russian oil producer Rosneft, Danish shipping company Maersk, multinational companies including Mondelez and legal firm DLA Piper, and French construction materials company Saint-Gobain, per the BBC.
  • Motherboard says that while it's not clear all the attacks are connected, so far the situation is looking similar to the beginning of the recent massive ransomware attack known as WannaCry. Ransomware works by encrypting files, then demanding money for the encryption key. Motherboard has images of the attack text, which demands $300 worth of bitcoin to get files back.

  • The Week says some experts are concerned this could ultimately be bigger than WannaCry; Wired explains why this attack is particularly scary.
  • For more on how Petya works, Slashdot recommends this video explainer.
  • Infosecurity rounds up information from computer security firms that have researched the attack.
  • The Guardian has a tidbit from a memo WPP reportedly sent to employees asking everyone with computers using Windows to turn them off and disconnect them.
  • The Verge says the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has switched to manual radiation monitoring because of the attack.
  • The Telegraph is offering live updates on the attack, including the dispiriting news that there appears to be no "kill switch" that can offer a quick fix.
  • Reuters notes that Petya last disrupted systems in 2016.
  • ValueWalk says no US targets have yet been reported in this attack.
  • The onMSFT blog offers up the steps to take for one method of protecting yourself.
(More cyberattack stories.)

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