We’ve already seen how the past couple of weeks were filled with worldwide incidences of large- scale malware attacks. Following a similar pattern, a recent malware attack devastated the Ukrainian private sector and various other systems such as A.T.Ms and radiation monitoring systems at Chernobyl. After putting the eastern European nation in a digital deadlock, the virus then spread to a larger area that included North America and the UK.
Who All Were Affected?
US delivery giant FedEx Corp was among those hit by the cyberattack. England’s National Health service said 16 hospitals and clinics were forced to cancel appointments and divert ambulances as a result of the same.
Despite Microsoft releasing a fix to counter Eternal Blue vulnerabilities that were exploited by WannaCry hackers last month, several groups and organizations weren’t able to install the patches amidst a series of attacks. This created another opportunity for Cybercriminals, who didn’t waste much time in exploiting these vulnerabilities yet again.
Among those most affected by this infection was US-based pharmaceutical company Merck, and Danish shipping giant Maersk. Other major names such as Cadbury Australia and other global snack brands were also affected by this large scale digital infection. Moreover, a Russian cybersecurity firm has also confirmed 80 companies in Russia and Ukraine to be severely mangled by the virus.
Who Is Responsible for This Attack?
Although no one has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, investigators have discovered the virus to be a mutated strain of Petya ransomware. In a typical fashion, this malware secretly encrypts all files and then demands a ransom of USD 300 in Bitcoin.
However, other research firms involved with investigation have also pointed out the involvement of leaked NSA tools such as Eternal Blue, which was used to launch this malware on a global scale.
The global chief information officer for ITD has condemned NSA’s lack of responsibility saying, ”The N.S.A. needs to take a leadership role in working closely with security and operating system platform vendors such as Apple and Microsoft to address the plague that they’ve unleashed”.
Ukrainian officials did blame Russia for this attack. But since several major Russian companies such as Rosneft and Home Credit Bank etc were also among the affected, nothing can be proved as of now.
Cybercrime and digital terrorism has certainly taken a major leap in the past two years. The world wide web is crawling with millions of malicious software, rootkits and crypto virus that have turned cyberspace into a dangerous abyss. Since Petya was up for-+ sale on dark web, it certainly seems like we’re gonna see more of such attacks and should anticipate more such attacks in future.