New ransomware, Petwrap, hits India, other countries; Indian shipping hub impacted

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Other companies also said they had been hit by a presumed cyber attack though it was not clear if their problems were caused by the same virus.

A number of Ukrainian banks and companies, including the state power distributor, were hit by a cyber attack that disrupted some operations, the Ukrainian central bank said. In that attack, just like in this case ransom was demanded for the release of the computer systems. And a Maersk facility for shipping containers in the Indian port city of Mumbai was shut down.

The virus, which exploited a security gap in the world's most common operating system, Microsoft Windows, spread quickly this week, paralysing dozens of companies throughout Europe and the United States.

Kaspersky Lab's analysts are investigating the new wave of ransomware attacks targeting organizations across the world.

The Kremlin says that a ransomware attack that has affected computers across the world highlights the need for close worldwide cooperation in fighting cybercrime.

"We are talking about a cyberattack", said Anders Rosendahl, a spokesman for the Copenhagen-based shipping group.

However, while this approach can stop the ransomware on individual computers, experts have not yet found a so-called "kill switch" that would completely stop the ransomware attack.

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Using some of the same exploits as the WannaCry ransomware that struck last month, this version of Petya has the ability to worm through computer networks, gathering passwords and credentials and spreading itself.

Analysts at several cybersecurity firms have confirmed that the Petya assault utilized a powerful and risky cyberweapon reated by the National Security Agency that was leaked in April by the hacker group Shadow Brokers.

Some experts said it looked likely to be a criminal scam, while Ukraine suggested that its arch-rival Russian Federation could have been behind the attack. And it didn't shoot across the internet the way WannaCry did - instead, it spreads inside company networks. "There is much theshadowbrokers can be saying about this but what is point and having not already being said?"

Grocery store checkout machines broke down, ATMs demanded ransom payments, and the turnstile system in the Kiev metro reportedly stopped working.

Stricken in Ukraine were government offices, where officials posted photos of darkened computer screens, as well as energy companies, the country's biggest airport, the post office, banks, cash machines, gas stations and supermarkets. Where WannaCry would allow a computer to run but would encrypt personal data, Petya hits critical system files and prevents live boot, requiring the computer to be entirely refreshed with a new OS in order to work again, unless the ransom is paid.

Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko tweeted an image of a government computer affected by the virus.

The Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Group IB estimated that the virus affected about 80 companies in Russian Federation and Ukraine.

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