Petya Ransomware Spreading Rapidly Worldwide, Just Like WannaCry

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Watch out, readers! It is ransomware, another WannaCry, another wide-spread attack.

The WannaCry ransomware is not dead yet and another large scale ransomware attack is making chaos worldwide, shutting down computers at corporates, power supplies and banks across Russia, Ukraine, India, and Europe and demanding demands $300 in bitcoins.

According to multiple sources, a new variant of Petya ransomware, also known as Petwrap, is spreading rapidly with the help of same Windows SMBv1 vulnerability that the WannaCry ransomware abused to infect 300,000 systems and servers worldwide in just 72 hours.

Petya is a nasty piece of ransomware and works very differently from any other ransomware malware. Unlike other traditional ransomware, Petya does not encrypt files on a targeted system one by one.

Instead, Petya reboots victims computers and encrypts the hard drive’s master file table (MFT) and rendering the master boot record (MBR) inoperable, restricting access to the full system by seizing information about file names, sizes, and location on the physical disk.

Petya replaces the computer’s MBR with its own malicious code that displays the ransom note and leaves computers unable to boot.

Petya Ransomware Spreading Rapidly Worldwide, Just Like WannaCry

Screenshots of the latest Petya infection shared on Twitter shows that the ransomware displays a text, demanding $300 worth of Bitcoins. Here’s what the text read:

“If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible, because they are encrypted. Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don’t waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.”

According to a recent VirusTotal scan, currently, only 13 out of 61 anti-virus services are successfully detecting the Petya virus.

Affected Power Companies:

Petya ransomware has already infected — Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft, Ukrainian state electricity suppliers, “Kyivenergo” and “Ukrenergo,” in past few hours.

“We were attacked. Two hours ago, we had to turn off all our computers. We are waiting for permission from Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) to switch them back on,” Kyivenergo’s press service said.

Affected Banks and Financial Institutions:

There are reports from several banks, including National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Oschadbank; and companies that they have been hit by the Petya ransomware attacks.

Affected Businesses:

Maersk, an international logistics company, has also confined on Twitter that the latest Petya attacks have shut down its IT systems at multiple locations and business units.

“We can confirm that Maersk IT systems are down across multiple sites and business units. We are currently asserting the situation. The safety of our employees, our operations and customers’ business is our top priority. We will update when we have more information,” the company said.

The ransomware also impacts multiple workstations at Ukrainian branch’s mining company Evraz.

The most severe damages reported by Ukranian businesses also include compromised systems at Ukraine’s local metro, and Kiev’s Boryspil Airport.

Affected Telecommunication Industry:

Three Ukrainian telecommunication operators, Kyivstar, LifeCell, Ukrtelecom, have also affected in the latest Petya attack.

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At the time of writing, 9 victims have paid for decrypting their files infected by Petya, which total roughly $2700.

How Petya Ransomware Spreading So Fast?

So far, it is not yet confirmed that what’s the reason behind the sudden rapid spreading of Petya, but security researchers on Twitter are arguing that like WannaCry, Petya is also exploiting SMBv1 EternalBlue exploit and taking advantage of unpatched Windows machines.

Just three days ago, we reported about the latest WannaCry attacks that hit Honda Motor Company and around 55 speed and traffic light cameras in Japan and Australia, respectively.

Well, it is quite surprising that even after knowing about the WannaCry issue for quite a decent amount of time, big corporates and companies have not yet implemented proper security measures to defend against the threat.

What to do immediately? Go and apply those goddamn patches and disable the unsecured, 30-year-old SMBv1 file-sharing protocol on your Windows systems.

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