Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

How to protect your documents from global cyber attacks

How to protect your documents from global cyber attacks

Thousands of computer users across the globe scrambled on Wednesday to reboot after a wave of ransomware cyber attacks spread from Ukraine and Russian Federation across Europe to the United States.

Victims of the NotPetya ransomware attack can't get at their own computer data even if they pay the ransom.

But Microsoft says the ransomware is "a new variant" of Petya, adding that it has issued new security updates to protect computers running its Windows software.

Other organizations affected include USA drugmaker Merck, food and drinks company Mondelez International, global law firm DLA Piper, and London-based advertising group WPP.

"Cyber attacks can simply destroy us", said Kevin Johnson, chief executive of cyber security firm Secure Ideas.

It's the second major cyberattack in less than two months, coming hot on the heels of the WannaCry worm that hit computers across more than 150 countries in May.

As the impact of the cyberattack that erupted Tuesday was still being measured at offices, loading docks and boardrooms, the Ukrainian Cabinet said that "all strategic assets, including those involved in protecting state security, are working normally".

In what seems to be a rerun of the global cybarattack perpetrated by the WannaCry ransomware - and this time with worse consequences - several countries across the world are said to have been affected by a new malware nicknamed Petya or PetrWrap.

Ukraine's central bank, Kiev's main airport, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site, and a string of multinational companies, including U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck, Russian state oil giant Rosneft, British advertising giant WPP and French industrial group Saint-Gobain, were among the victims. Those who pay are asked to send confirmation of payment to an email address.

Mattis says Syria's government taking US threat seriously
Jeff Davis, said the USA had seen " activity " at Shayrat airfield that "indicated active preparations for chemical weapons use ". Mattis wouldn't say what specifically triggered US concerns that an attack might be imminent.

Russia's top oil producer Rosneft said its servers had been hit by a large-scale cyber attack but its oil production was unaffected.

The computer virus used in the attack includes code known as Eternal Blue, a tool developed by the NSA that exploited Microsoft's Windows operating system and which was published on the internet in April by a group called Shadowbrokers.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) near Mumbai in Maharashtra is believed to be one of the first places in India to report a Petya infection.

Intelligence agencies and security researchers have linked last month's WannaCry attack to a group associated with North Korea.

GSTN - the IT backbone on which India's biggest tax reforms is set to roll out from July 1 - has said its operations have not been affected and registrations are going on smoothly.

The malware blocked computers and left a ransom note demanding $300 in bitcoin currency. So, if you patched during the WannaCrypt attack, you are only half-protected right now.

The current ransomware attack is far more limited in scope than its predecessors as it does not attempt to propagate beyond the target network, fuelling speculation that it may just be a cover for another, much larger attack.

However, he said, that system only covers state institutions, not private companies. The United States was investigating the attack and determined to hold those responsible accountable, it said.

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