New cyberattack causes mass disruption in Europe

New cyberattack causes mass disruption in Europe

Systems in Europe, and especially in Ukraine and Russian Federation, are under siege from a stealthy new ransomware attack reminiscent of WannaCry.

Rosneft said on Twitter that a powerful hacking attack has been carried out against the company’s servers.

That was the case in the recent WannaCry attack, which saw hospitals in the United Kingdom, automakers’ production facilities and German train stations all affected by the computer virus. A WannaCry ransomware attack shut down over 200,000 computers globally in May.

Systems were also compromised at Ukraine’s Ukrenego electricity supplier, although a spokesperson said the power supply was unaffected by the attack. RT also reports that worldwide steel and mining company EVRAZ has also fallen victim to the cyberattack, as well as Britain’s WPP, the world’s biggest advertising agency.

Russian oil producer Rosnet said it hoped the incident was not connected to “legal proceedings”, as it prepares to sue a rival firm over the acquisition of another energy company for 170 billion rubles (£2.25 billion).

The hacks have hit Ukraine especially hard, with a number of banks and companies, including the state power distributor hit, disrupting some operations.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman called the attack “unprecedented”, but also said crucial IT systems were unaffected by the malware.

“We are talking about a cyber-attack”, Anders Rosendahl, a spokesman for the Copenhagen-based shipping group AP Moller-Maersk, told the Associated Press. “This picture is on all of the Cabinet computer screens”, the country’s vice prime minister, Pavel Rozenko, posted on Facebook, along with a picture of a computer starting up after an apparent error.

Cyber researchers at Kaspersky have labelled the wave “Not Petya“, ruling it’s not a variant of the Petya ransomware we have seen before.

WPP, a British advertising agency, reported it was also the victim of a cyberattack.

Even as more media outlets reporting about the attack, it was believed to be spreading as far as India.

Petrwarap itself encrypts the contents of a PC, prompting users to pay $300 in Bitcoin to obtain the decryption key.

Ukrainian authorities have said the hacks could have been perpetrated by Russia, the Reuters news agency reported; however, Russian oil company Rosneft also reported having been hacked in all branches, both domestically and overseas. “We are now asserting the situation”, the company said.