Cyberattack causes disruptions in Europe; Ukraine reports serious intrusions

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The Department of Homeland Security is also monitoring the cyberattacks. And a spokesperson for the Ukrainian power distributor Ukrenergo told Reuters that the attack hadn't affected its power supplies or broader operations. "This could hit the U.S. pretty bad", he said.

According to the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, the attack has affected about 2,000 users in at least 11 different countries so far, with organizations in Russian Federation and the Ukraine the most affected. Breaches were reported at computers governing the municipal energy company and airport in the capital, Kiev, the state telecommunications company Ukrtelecom, the Ukrainian postal service and the State Savings Bank of Ukraine. Other smaller attacks have generated similar returns.

Rosneft, one of the world's biggest producers of crude oil by volume, said its oil production had not been affected.

A new cyberattack similar to WannaCry is spreading from Europe to the US, hitting port operators in NY and Rotterdam, disrupting government systems in Kiev, and disabling operations at companies including Rosneft PJSC and advertiser WPP Plc.

In a tweet, Merck, based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, acknowledged that it had been hit: "We confirm our company's computer network was compromised today as part of global hack".

The Maersk shipping company, based in Denmark, confirmed that its "IT systems are down across multiple sites and business units due to a cyber attack".

After the WannaCry attack, organisations around the globe were advised to beef up IT security.

German postal and logistics company Deutsche Post DPWGn.DE said systems of its Express division in the Ukraine have in part been affected by a cyber attack.

Ukraine's delivery service company Nova Poshta was also attacked by Petya.A ransomware which locks users out of the system and demands purchase of a key to resume access.

"If you see this text then your files are no longer accessible because they have been encrypted". Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don't waste your time. Kiev is blaming Moscow, but Russian Federation has also been hit with the country's oil giant Rosneft among those falling victim.

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"The building has come to a standstill".

"We do not tolerate any misuse of our platform", said the German email provider Posteo, in a blog post.

The MV Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, the world's biggest container ship, arrives at the harbour of Rotterdam August 16, 2013.

Microsoft said that its anti-virus software detects and removes the ransomware used in the latest attack.

It uses two layers of encryption which have frustrated efforts by researchers to break the code, according to Romanian security firm Bitdefender.

"A massive ransomware campaign is now unfolding worldwide", said Romanian cybersecurity company Bitdefender. There are reports of infections in several countries, including Ukraine, India, France, Russia, and Spain, as well as in the U.S. Security researchers said the ransomware being used in this campaign uses a fake Microsoft digital signature that was lifted from a legitimate Microsoft utility.

Security experts expect the impact to be smaller than the "WannaCry" attack last month, as many computers had been patched with Windows updates.

After the WannaCry scourge in May, Microsoft called on people to protect machines with the MS17-010 patch.

Ukraine was at the epicentre of the so-called ransomware incident on Tuesday, which closely resembles the "WannaCry" attack in May, believed to have hit at least 150 countries where it targeted hospitals, governments and businesses.

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