As the world reels from the aftermath of the WannaCry ransomware, major firms reported a disruption in their services due to another major malware attack on IT systems globally. Danish company Maersk was one of the worst hit along with the likes of FedEx and British advertising company WPP.
While FedEx and Maersk have both confirmed the attack, they say they don’t believe there has been any data breach of any kind at least for now.
Security companies disagree though on the nature of the new malware and while Symantec says it thinks it is a variant of the known malware Petya, Russian firm Kaspersky says it believes this is a brand new malware which they call “ExPetr.” In any case, this behaves like the WannaCry malware which encrypts (using a Windows vulnerability which has now been fixed) your files and asks victims to pay $300 in bitcoin to regain access to their files.
About 80 Russian and Ukrainian companies are thought to have been affected so far even as experts warn that victims shouldn’t pay the ransom as there’s no guarantee that they would get their files back. If it’s any comfort for the hackers behind this, it is reported that they made over $75,000 in the wake of the WannaCry attacks because many users will be desperate to regain access to their precious files back at any cost.
This attack also takes advantage of a Windows flaw called EternalBlue just like the WannaCry even though Microsoft says the March patch should take care of this. It added though that it was investigating the incident and would likely report its findings.
Caving in to the demands of the hackers would likely encourage them to carry out other attacks. A simple Windows update should protect a user but you are encouraged to also back up data constantly.