Companies worldwide hit by Petya virus; another ransomware
Companies across the globe are reporting that they have been struck by a major ransomware cyber attack.
It is said to be similar to the so-called "WannaCry" attacks seen last month, which affected hundred of thousands of computers in nearly 150 countries.
Ro Aram reports.
Cyber security experts say those behind the attack appeared to have exploited the same type of hacking tool used in the WannaCry attack, but the source or motive of Tuesday's incident is not yet clear.
Some experts are calling the latest virus Petya, but others suggest it could be another type of ransomware.
Researchers say hackers used a code known as "Eternal Blue," which is believed to be stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency, and also used in last month's ransomware attack.
On Tuesday, hackers are said to have hijacked about two thousand computers so far in about a dozen countries, freezing systems until a 300 U.S.-dollar Bitcoin ransom is paid.
European countries seem to be worst hit, with Ukraine's central bank among the first to report that state and private firms were crippled, as well as government ministries and radiation monitoring at the Chernobyl nuclear facility.
Russian oil giant Rosneft, Danish shipping company Maersk and the UK-based advertising firm WPP are also among those who have fallen victim.
The ransomware also appears to be spreading outside of Europe as several American companies are reporting disruptions, including drug giant Merck and law firm DLA Piper.
The cyber attacks are said to be targeting Windows-based computers and exploiting a security flaw that was patched by Microsoft in March, but not yet updated by many firms.
Governments and cyber-security experts have been urging entities to update their softwares in order to prevent such attacks from occurring.