Another ransomware attack threatens systems worldwide

"It's more harmful to the organization that it affects, but because it's not randomly spreading over the internet like WannaCry, it's somewhat contained to the organizations that were connected to each other", Kalember said. "Not so long ago the world was caught off-guard by the widespread cyber-attack carried out using a unsafe "#Ransomware" called #WannaCry. The attack is affecting multiple sites and units, which include a major port operator and an oil and gas producer, spokeswoman Concepcion Boo Arias said.

Petya is still affecting airports and ATMs in Ukraine and hampering global businesses from the shipping giant Maersk to the drug company Merck.

"This ransomware attack is a wake-up call to all Australian businesses to regularly back up their data and install the latest security patches, " said Dan Tehan, the cybersecurity minister.

Starting on Tuesday, June 27, a massive cyber-attack primary occurred, aimed at businesses in the #Ukraine but also spread out all over the world. He declined further comment.

Various media reports also list the Russian energy company Rosneft and USA pharmaceutical giant Merck as early victims, along with Maersk, a large Danish shipping company.

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

Government and business computers have been affected around the globe. Terming the situation as "extremely serious", a senior official from the Maharashtra government's cyber cell said it is an impact on the country's external trade when systems dealing with the cargo and ships at the largest port get affected. Rosneft said that the company narrowly avoided major damage.

More news: Kvitova reaches 1st final since attack

On Tuesday, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that the Petya ransomware attack was made possible by a vulnerability in Windows software that the NSA had been secretly making use of for years as part of its spying operations. "It was a lot of noise, very little money, and everyone noticed it", said Craig Williams, an expert at cybersecurity firm Cisco Talos.

Researchers say the ransomware virus is a worm that infects networks by moving from computer to computer. In a telephone interview, Bitdefender analyst Bogdan Botezatu said that he had examined samples of the program and that it appeared to be almost identical to GoldenEye, one of a family of hostage-taking programs that has been circulating for months.

These recent large-scale infections may make ransomware seem like a new problem, but it's not.

Bogdan Botezatu, an analyst with Bitdefender, compared such self-spreading software to a contagious disease.

"It's like somebody sneezing into a train full of people", Botezatu told The Associated Press. "You just have to exist there and you're vulnerable".

Security experts said Tuesday's global cyberattack shares something in common with last month's outbreak of ransomware, dubbed WannaCry.

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