As predicted, yet another massive ransomware attack has rocked private and public networks across Europe – and even isolated incidents stateside – reminiscent of the WannaCry cyber attack that shut down hospital networks in the UK barely a month ago. While we’re not happy to say “I told you so” in this case, it appears that this “sequel” to WannaCry isn’t simply a fluke occurrence, but is likely to become increasingly common in the years to come.
This latest virus appears to have originated in the Ukraine, where systems across the country were compromised, including the Ukraine central bank, municipal transit systesm, state telecom and even Kiev’s Boryspil International Airport. The attack even made it’s way to the storied Chernobyl nuclear power plant, forcing engineers at the facility to switch to manual radiation monitoring in an effort to avoid a meltdown reminiscent of the one that made global headlines back in the 1980s.
While this virus appears to have a lot in common with WannaCry, it’s actually an entirely new strain that leverages the same EternalBlue exploit that allowed WannaCry to spread quickly among infected networks. While there isn’t a formal name for this latest bug, security firm Kasperky Labs has dubbed it “NotPetya” after determining that the virus isn’t simply a variant of the common Petya ransomware as the company first suspected.
Outside of the Ukraine, Danish shipping company Maersk reported that the virus had taken systems down at sites across the globe, including the logistics arm of the company, Damco, operating out of Russia. Stateside, the virus has been credited with affecting systems at a Pittsburgh-area hospital, as well as at the pharmaceutical company Merck and a number of global law firms with locations throughout the states.
As is usually the case, Microsoft and other operating systems have been workign tirelessly to investigate and stop the spread of the virus, attributing much of the spread to compromised email chains with dangerous attachments.
One way to help avoid reliance on email via potentially compromised platforms is for users to share content with their friends, family, coworkers or collaborators via LINK. Rather than attach documents via email, LINK can store up to 2TB of content that can be transferred between users over the air directly to other devices. Because LINK is compatible with any platform, any type of file can be shared and stored through a device small enough to fit in the palm of a users hand.
Learn more about LINK and how it can help assure your data is safe and secure before the next inevitable ransomware attack threatens networks the world over.