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Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - Another ransomware attack causes chaos
Petya, variation: NotPetya (ransomware virus)
Source -
Where - Ukraine
Business line - Information Technology

Another global ransomware attack is causing chaos as thousands of computers have been frozen at firms across the globe.

Amongst the companies affected is UK advertising firm WPP. CEO Sir Martin Sorrell was forced to write to the firm’s 200,000 customers yesterday to inform them of the incident.

“A number of WPP companies – though not all – have been affected,” he wrote. “At this time, we have no indication that either employee or client data has been compromised. As you would expect, our companies and teams are in contact with clients on an ongoing basis.”

“Many of you will have experienced significant disruption to your work. However, contrary to some press reports, WPP and its companies are still very much open for business,” he added.

Ransomware works by freezing the victim’s computer and making their data inaccessible until a ransom is paid to the perpetrator in digital currency known as Bitcoin.

A number of Ukraine-based firms, including the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and a Kiev airport, were amongst the first to raise the alarm. The Ukrainian Central Bank, US pharmaceuticals-maker Merck and Russia's biggest oil producer Rosneft are also understood to have been affected.

Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab said it estimates there have been approximately 2,000 attacks, the majority of which have occurred in Ukraine, Russia and Poland. Interpol has said it is “closely monitoring” the situation.

Comparisons are already being drawn with the WannaCry attack which occurred just last month, suggesting few lessons have been learned from the incident.

Security expert Chris Wysopal from Veracode told the BBC “These organisations typically have a challenge patching all of their machines because so many systems cannot have down time.”