New cyber attack spreads across Europe

Several multinational companies said on Tuesday they were targeted in a massive wave of cyberattacks which started in Russian Federation and Ukraine before spreading to western Europe.

Still, the attack could be more unsafe than traditional strains of ransomware because it makes computers unresponsive and unable to reboot, Juniper Networks said in a blog post analyzing the attack. "We are investigating the matter and will provide additional information as we learn more".

In an update, Kaspersky Labs said that the attack has hit thousands of users, in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, the U.K., Germany, France, and the U.S. The incident is spread throughout the $480 network, including satellite and community locations.

These included running security software, making sure your operating system and software are up-to-date and keeping backups of important data so it is not lost if the worst does happen.

Ukraine's central bank said several lenders had been hit in the country, hindering operations and leading the regulator to warn other financial institutions to tighten security measures. The darkened computer screens read: "The whole network is down".

Separately, the Russian oil giant Rosneft announced that its servers has been hit by a "powerful hacking attack", which knocked the company's website offline on Tuesday afternoon. However, the company was able to switch to a reserve control system.

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

"Unfortunately, businesses are still not ready and now more than 80 companies are affected", said Nikolay Grebennikov, vice president for R&D at data protection firm Acronis.

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Within a day of being released, WannaCry had infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries. "The attacks were widespread in Ukraine, affecting Ukrenergo, the state power distributor, and several of the country's banks".

The security researchers said it's now not as big as WannaCry, but the volume is considerable.

Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued statements indicating that officials were aware of the attack and working to contain it. The strain is most likely Petya, which encrypts Master File Tree (MTF) tables and overwrite the Master Boot Record. "The ransomware was called Petya and the updated version Petrwrap". It's spread by email through infected Microsoft Office documents.

It is similar to WannaCry, which spread globally in May, but there are differences.

When asked if the latest attacks had affected systems in India, CERT-In Director General Sanjay Bahl said he was not aware of it now.

So far, Merck is the only USA firm that has acknowledged being a victim of the cyber attack. It's primary targets have mostly been in Europe and the United States. Some U.S. companies, including food producer Mondelēz worldwide and drug-maker Merck, were also affected.

"Even post WannaCry attack, with our experience we can say that over 50 per cent of Windows systems are still not patched across India".

"We are taking steps to remedy the issue as quickly as possible".