Cyber attack sweeps globe, researchers see 'WannaCry' link

A computer screen cyberattack warning notice reportedly holding computer files to ransom as part of a massive international cyberattack at an office in Kiev Ukraine Tuesday

The latest ransomware attack, named "Petya", that hit countries' computer systems on Tuesday night shows that large-scale worldwide cyberattacks are set to be an increasing feature of the digital world.

Cybersecurity firms Kaspersky Lab and FireEye said they had detected attacks in other Asia-Pacific countries but did not provide details.

Since Tuesday, NotPetya - which infects computers on a local network and demands about $300 in Bitcoin to unscramble files - has made its prescence felt globally, with reports claiming that it has also hit transport firm TNT, Chernobyl radiation detection systems, a U.S. hospital and a chocolate factory in Australia.

The spy agency has not said publicly whether it built Eternal Blue and other hacking tools leaked online by an entity known as Shadow Brokers. When asked about the impact of the malware attack, Brijesh Singh, Maharashtra state cyber cell chief, said, "The state government's departments such as Customs, Excise etc are not affected in this attack".

Anyone hit by Petya should not make the payment that hackers are requesting, as "there is now little chance files can be recovered by paying the ransom", MalwareTech, the British security researcher who helped put a stop to last month's WannaCry attack by activating that ransomware's built-in kill switch, noted on his blog yesterday.

The statement also said that all "technological systems of the station operate in the normal mode", but that "in connection with the cyberattack, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant website is not working".

Some of the biggest corporations including Russia's largest oil company Rosneft, Ukraine's global airport, shipping firm AP Moller-Maersk, and advertising giant WPP have come under attack.

The Petya attack is similar to the global WannaCry ransomware attack, which suggests the same weakness in Windows systems will be targeted again in future.

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In the United States, it affected companies such as the drugmaker Merck and food conglomerate Mondelez International . In a Facebook post , Maersk Line also confirmed that APM Terminals has been impacted at a number of ports.

The virus is believed to be ransomware - a piece of malicious software that shuts down a computer system and then demands an extortionate sum of money to fix the problem, the daily said.

After the WannaCry scourge in May, Microsoft called on people to protect machines with the MS17-010 patch. Security experts are still investigating and responding to attacks.

Because of this, several experts are predicting that the attack will not spread significantly further than it did on Tuesday, unless it is modified.

"We do not tolerate the misuse of our platform: The immediate blocking of misused email accounts is the necessary approach by providers in such cases", Posteo stated on Tuesday. The attack has spread around the globe in a matter of hours, affecting the Ukrainian government, Russian enterprises, and other companies throughout Western Europe.

The malware blocked computers and left a ransom note demanding $300 in bitcoin currency.

Further, a Shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk was also reportedly hit by the ransomware attack.

He added that unlike WannaCry, there was no "kill switch" - a catch-all solution that would stop the malware. Rosneft said that the company narrowly avoided major damage.

India-based employees at Beiersdorf, makers of Nivea skin care products, and Reckitt Benckiser, which owns Enfamil and Lysol, told Reuters the ransomware attack had impacted some of their systems in the country.