Chernobyl n-plant hit by global cyber attack

Hackers strike across Europe, sparking widespread disruption

Ukraine and Russian Federation appeared hardest hit by the new strain of ransomware - malicious software that locks up computer files with all-but-unbreakable encryption and then demands a ransom for its release.

The ransomware assaults are being linked to the new Petya virus, and those affected are being demanded as much as US$300 in purely cryptocurrency for every terminal that is affected.

For the vast majority of users, simply running an up-to-date version of Windows will be sufficient to prevent the attack taking hold, were it to infect your PC.

The attack targeted around 2,000 computers in around a dozen countries including the UK, US, France and Germany.

"WannaCry was simple, but effective".

CSA and GovTech noted that the latest Petya ransomware, which has been in existence since early 2016, is a new variant which uses only the encryption component of the original Petya ransomware.

It was unclear who was behind this cyberattack, which started as an attack on Ukrainian government and business computer systems - an assault that appeared to have been meant to hit the day before a holiday marking the adoption in 1996 of Ukraine's first Constitution after its break from the Soviet Union.

But on Wednesday the Ukrainian government said the outburst of malicious software has been contained.

The situation was "under the full control" of cybersecurity specialists who were working to recover lost data, the government said.

Yet, other entities around the world continued facing difficulties to get back online. Across the Atlantic, the Merck pharmaceutical company in the United States was also affected, as it announced on its official social media channels like with the rest of the businesses mentioned.

Ukraine was the target of a slew of cyberattacks a year ago.

The National Security Agency has not acknowledged its tools were used in WannaCry or other attacks.

The incident was the second of such attack in two months.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman called the ransomware campaign "unprecedented", but said "vital systems haven't been affected".

You can restore your computer from a backup, if you have one.

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

In Switzerland, six companies were attacked, according to the national cybersecurity agency.

A Cadbury chocolate factory in Australia was hit by the virus.

This attack has the potential continue its disruption on a global scale, similar to WannaCry. "They are trying to work manually", a senior JNPT official told PTI on Tuesday night.

Several prominent companies and services across the globe have already been impacted by this new ransomware, with computers locked up and displaying a distinctive red block of text asking for payment in Bitcoin.

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