A new wave of cyber attack was consummated on Tuesday affecting computers all over the globe. Authorities are now looking at a possible connection with last month's "WannaCry" ransomware attack.
Russia, Ukraine, Poland, India, United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries fell victim to the "Petya" cyber attack which targeted governments, banks, multinational firms, and oil companies, among other institutions and huge businesses. Workers at the Chernobyl power plant had to perform radiation monitoring manually after their computers and sensors became inoperable because of the cyber attack, as BBC reported.
The state power company of Ukraine, as well as the main airport in Kiev, were also attacked while WPP, the world-leading British advertising agency, also reported being a victim of the "Petya" cyber attack. In India, one of the terminals of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port was hacked while it also affected Beiersdorf and Reckitt Bensicker, makers of Nivea and Enfamil, respectively.
The "Petya" virus froze computers of the affected businesses and rendered them useless until a ransom was paid. The cyber criminals demanded a ransom of at least $300 worth of Bitcoins which were to be sent to a certain address. According to Reuters, the virus included a code called "Eternal Blue." Experts are looking at the possibility that the code was stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency or NSA. Many also believe that the same code is somewhat connected to last month's "WannaCry" attack.
After the attack on Tuesday, there were still reports the following day that some businesses in the Asia-Pacific region were experiencing some disruptions. According to Kaspersky Lab, there were around 2,000 attacks as of the last count and most of them targeted businesses in Russia, Ukraine, and Poland.
The massive "Wannacry" ransomware attack in May infected over 300,000 computers. It's nowhere near the damage caused by the likes of the Morris Worm and MafiaBoy which resulted in up to $100 million and $1.2 billion worth of repairs, respectively.
This latest cyber extortion campaign opened eyes further that companies are easy targets of such cyber criminals. Secure Ideas chief Kevin Johnson stated that "cyber attacks can simply destroy us" unless companies and institutions start "doing what they are supposed to do to fix the problem."