Companies across the globe are reporting that they have been struck by a major ransomware cyber-attack. British advertising agency WPP is among those to say its IT systems have been disrupted as a consequence. Ukrainian firms, including the state power company and Kiev’s main airport, were among the first to report issues.
What we know ?
Security researchers believe this is a variant of Petya ransomware but there still isn’t consensus in the research community. What has been confirmed is this ransomware, just like WannaCry, is using the ETERNALBLUE tool which exploits CVE-2017-0144 and was originally revealed in the ShadowBrokers April Wikileaks release.
This ransomware has affected a number of large enterprise and government operations across Europe (hospitals, supermarkets, banks) and there are reports of US companies also being impacted.
What is Petya Ransomware ?
Petya is not new – the group behind it has essentially repurposed it most likely based on the success of WannaCry. We have reports dating back to late 2016 with Petay infrastructure IoC’s.The group behind Petya has taken a page out of the WannaCry playbook and the TTP’s are strikingly similar.
What can you do to protect your self from Petya Ransomware?
Immediately apply security patch MS17-010 and block or monitor incoming traffic on TCP port 445.
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has also had to monitor radiation levels manually after its Windows-based sensors were shut down.
The Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab said its analysis showed that there had been about 2,000 attacks – most in Ukraine, Russia and Poland.
The international police organisation Interpol has said it was “closely monitoring” the situation and liaising with its member countries.
Experts suggest the malware is taking advantage of the same weaknesses used by the Wannacry attack last month.
“It initially appeared to be a variant of a piece of ransomware that emerged last year,” said computer scientist Prof Alan Woodward.
“The ransomware was called Petya and the updated version Petrwrap.
“However, now that’s not so clear.” Kaspersky Lab reported that it believed the malware was a “new ransomware that has not been seen before” despite its resemblance to Petya.
As a result, the firm has dubbed it NotPetya. Kaspersky added that it had detected suspected attacks in Poland, Italy, Germany, France and the US in addition to the UK, Russia and Ukraine.
Andrei Barysevich, a spokesman for security firm Recorded Future, told the BBC such attacks would not stop because cyber-thieves found them too lucrative.
“A South Korean hosting firm just paid $1m to get their data back and that’s a huge incentive,” he said. “It’s the biggest incentive you could offer to a cyber-criminal.”
A bitcoin wallet associated with the outbreak has received several payments since the outbreak began. The wallet currently holds almost 3.3 bitcoins (£6,175; $7,920).An email address associated with the blackmail attempt has been blocked by German independent email provider Posteo.It means that the blackmailers have not been able to access the mailbox.
Ukraine seems to have been particularly badly hit this time round.
Reports suggest that the Kiev metro system has stopped accepting payment cards while several chains of petrol stations have suspended operations.Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has tweeted a picture appearing to show government systems have been affected.
His caption reads: “Ta-daaa! Network is down at the Cabinet of Minister’s secretariat.”
Problems have also affected the Ukrainian central bank, the aircraft manufacturer Antonov, and two postal services Russia’s biggest oil producer, Rosneft Danish shipping company Maersk, including its container shipping, oil, gas and drilling operations a Pennsylvania hospital operator, Heritage Valley Health System, which reported its computer network was down, causing operations to be delayed – but it is not yet clear if it was subject to the same type of attack Spanish food giant Mondelez – whose brands include Oreo and Toblerone – according to the country’s media Netherlands-based shipping company TNT, which said some of its systems needed “remediation” French construction materials company St Gobain US pharmaceuticals-maker Merck and the local offices of the law firm DLA Piper – a sign in the firm’s Washington DC office said: “Please remove all laptops from docking stations and keep turned off – no exceptions.”
The attacks come two months after another global ransomware assault, known as Wannacry, which caused major problems for the UK’s National Health Service.Veteran security expert Chris Wysopal from Veracode said the malware seemed to be spreading via some of the same Windows code loopholes exploited by Wannacry. Many firms did not patch those holes because Wannacry was tackled so quickly, he added.
Tier3 Cyber Security is working with its Local partners in Pakistan to monitor any such attacks on Pakistani companies.If you think you have been hacked or you are victim of such ransomware attack please contact us for help and advice.