COMPUTERS all over the world were hit by a wave of cyberattacks on Tuesday, as the virus—believed to have originated from Ukraine—crippled companies and port operators in cities like Mumbai and Los Angeles, while a Cadbury factory in Australia saw its operations shut down.
Authorities have launched investigations into the matter, with parties in Ukraine already pointing the finger at Russia, who has consistently been accused of orchestrating cyberattacks, particularly on Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly denied those accusations. Some reports suggest that the virus originated from a Ukrainian tax software called MeDoc, which quickly spread the malware through its users devices.
This latest attack comes hot on the heels of the WannaCry ransomware attack last month, which infected 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries.
Much like the WannaCry attack, the new virus locked users out from their devices and demanded ransoms of US$300 worth of bitcoins on pain of having all their data destroyed. According to some news sources, more than 30 victims paid the ransom.
Conflicting reports at one point suggested it was a “Petya” virus because it shared code with a similarly named ransomware, but experts like Kapersky have ruled that out.
Others even suggest that the virus was attempting to disguise itself as ransomware in order to hide its true intention to destroy its victims’ data.
Security experts said that the goal of this attack might not be monetary due to its small scale and the relatively tiny ransom fee. Experts say all evidence points to the hackers’ desire to disrupt and destroy, rather than extort.
Since the WannaCry attack, governments and a number of corporations have begun implementing stronger cybersecurity protocols.
Cybersecurity experts note that users of the Windows operating system who implemented the latest security patches issues this year remained largely unaffected. However, experts are also concerned about the increasing number of instances of cybercrime as well the poor security infrastructure in corporations