New wave of cyber attack sweeps globe, links found to Wannacry

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The attack has hit Ukraine particularly hard.

It is unclear how the attack began, or how it spread to other countries.

Companies across the globe are reporting they have been struck by a major ransomware cyber attack.

Like a previous attack that swept into more than 150 countries on May 12, Tuesday's virulent outbreak appeared to be powered by a US cyber weapon stolen from the National Security Agency.

The British National Cyber Security Centre said it was "aware of the global ransomware incident" and is "monitoring the situation closely".

Any requests for help from DHS, McConnell says, are confidential.

The virus was similar to the ransomware, Wannacry, that infected more than 300,000 computers.

It's not clear whether or why the ransomware has suddenly become so much more potent, but Botezatu said that it was likely spreading automatically across a network, without the need for human interaction. Without the hackers' decryption key - or the discovery of some weakness in the malware's code - the encrypted data may stay scrambled for a long time yet.

WannaCry was based on exploits stolen from the National Security Agency - including a program called EternalBlue, which exploited a Microsoft vulnerability.

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Stray cases of computers being impacted by WannaCry were reported in India at that time.

"While the attack has been dubbed "Petya" or "Golden Eye" by many, cyber researchers at Kaspersky have labelled the wave "Not Petya" or 'ExPetr", ruling it's not a variant of the Petya ransomware we have seen before.

Ukraine's security experts are working to fix the problem, according to the government portal. For now, it recommends Ukrainians simply turn their computers off.

The demand that confronts victims of the latest ransomware cyber attack, "GoldenEye". In Russia, the malware hit companies such as Mars, Nivea and Mondelez International, according to the Tass news agency.

Ukraine's Anton Gerashchenko, a lawmaker and advisor to the interior minister.

The virus got into computer systems via "phishing" emails written in Russian and Ukrainian created to lure employees into opening them, according to an advisor to Ukraine's interior minister.

In at least some of the attacks in the Ukraine, the virus has been identified as Petya or Petrwrap.

Meanwhile, Maersk, based in Denmark, has confirmed its systems are down due to a cyberattack, and even Russian oil company Rosneft has been affected.

"With the severity of this attack and the degree to which the virus has already spread on an worldwide scale across major business and infrastructure, it is now nearly impossible to stop it from spreading further", Robert Edwards, a barrister and cybercrime specialist at St. John's Buildings told The Telegraph, adding that the fallout will likely be severe, "and raises serious questions about the security of devices and the ease in which hackers are able to commit such attacks".

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