New Cyberattack Hits Ukraine and Spreads

On Tuesday, a new cyberattack which was similar to the WannaCry ransomware one that affected tens of thousands of computers all over the world hit computer systems from Ukraine to the United States. In the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, A.T.M.s stopped working and 80 miles away, workers needed to manually monitor the radiation at the old Chernobyl nuclear plant because the computers were dead. Tech managers at the most important companies from the entire world (like Maersk, the Danish shipping conglomerate, and Merck, the drug giant in the United States) were struggling to respond. The cyberattack was so big that it even affected a factory for the chocolate giant Cadbury, in Australia.

Another cyberattack causes trouble

On Tuesday, it was still unclear who was behind this new attack as it was the precise extent of its impact. It all started like a smaller scale attack on the Ukrainian government and business computer systems. It appeared like it needed to hit right before a holiday. This one marked the adoption in Ukraine’s first Constitution after its break from the Soviet Union, in 1996. However, the attack immediately spread, causing trouble in the entire world. This attack is the latest in a series done using some hacking tools belonging to the National Security Agency. After stealing them, a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers leaked them online, back in April.

Similar to the WannaCry ransomware attack from May, this one also demanded digital ransom from the computers’ owners in order to take control of them again. The people behind this recent attack actually used the same hacking tool called Eternal Blue. The WannaCry attack used it too. Until now, the National Security Agency has not admitted that the hackers used its tools for these attacks. However, computer security specialists are demanding its help against its own weapons which are now targeting the entire world.

Unclear who is behind it

It’s interesting that the vulnerability in Windows that Eternal Blue took advantage off should have been fixed. Back in March, Microsoft released a patch for it. However, it seems like many groups from all over the world failed to properly install it. Still, security experts said that Tuesday’s attack may have affected even those with a good patch. Mainly because it used some different methods.        

Image source: pixabay

 

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