Global business reels from second major
cyber attack in two months
Send a link to a friend
[June 28, 2017]
By Eric Auchard and Jack Stubbs
FRANKFURT/MOSCOW (Reuters) - A major cyber
attack, believed to have first struck Ukraine, caused havoc around the
world on Wednesday, crippling computers or halting operations at port
operator Maersk, a Cadbury chocolate plant in Australia and the property
arm of French bank BNP Paribas.
Russia's biggest oil company, Ukrainian banks and multinational firms
were among those hit on Tuesday by the cyber extortion campaign, which
has underscored growing concerns that businesses have failed to secure
their networks from increasingly aggressive hackers.
The rapidly spreading computer worm appeared to be a variant of an
existing ransomware family known as Petya which also has borrowed key
features from last month's ransomware attack, named "WannaCry".
ESET, an anti-virus vendor based in Bratislava, said 80 percent of all
infections from the new attack detected among its global customer base
were in Ukraine, with Italy second hardest hit at around 10 percent.
Several of the international firms hit had operations in Ukraine.
Shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk <MAERSKb.CO>, which handles one in
seven containers shipped worldwide and has a logistics unit in Ukraine,
is not able to process new orders after being hit by the attack on
Tuesday, it told Reuters.
"Right now, at this hour, we're not able to take new orders," Maersk
Line Chief Commercial Officer Vincent Clerc said in a telephone
interview on Wednesday.
BNP Paribas Real Estate <BNPP.PA>, which provides property and
investment management services, confirmed it had been hit but declined
to specify how widely it had affected its business. It employed nearly
3,500 staff in 16 countries as of last year.
[to top of second column]
Customers queue in 'Rost' supermarket in Kharkiv, Ukraine June 27,
2017 in this picture obtained from social media. MIKHAIL GOLUB via
"The international cyber attack hit our non-bank subsidiary, Real
Estate. The necessary measures have been taken to rapidly contain
the attack," the bank told Reuters on Wednesday, after a person
familiar with the matter had said that some staff computers were
blocked on Tuesday due to the incident.
Production at the Cadbury <MDLZ.O> factory on the island state of
Tasmania ground to a halt late on Tuesday after computer systems
went down, said Australian Manufacturing and Workers Union state
secretary John Short.
Russia's Rosneft <ROSN.MM>, one of the world's biggest crude
producers by volume, said on Tuesday its systems had suffered
"serious consequences" but said oil production had not been affected
because it switched over to backup systems.
The virus crippled computers running Microsoft Corp's <MSFT.O>
Windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files, then
demanded $300 in bitcoin payments to restore access.
Several security experts questioned whether the effort to extort
victims with computers hit by the virus was the main goal, or
whether the unknown hackers behind the attack could have other
(Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Adrian Croft)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.