Cyber attack sweeps globe, researchers see ‘WannaCry’ link

A major global cyber-attack occurred at Russia’s biggest Oil company, Ukrainian banks and multinational firms with a virus similar to the one that infected more than 300,000 computers last month.

Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region reported some disruptions today with the operations of several European companies hit, including India’s largest container port, although the impact on companies and governments across the wider region appeared to be limited.

The virus crippled computers running Microsoft Corp’s Windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files, then demanded $300 in bitcoin payments to restore access. More than 30 victims paid into the bitcoin account associated with the attack, according to a public ledger of transactions listed on blockchain.info.

The spreading cyber extortion campaign, which began yesterday, stressed growing concerns that businesses have failed to secure their networks from aggressive hackers, capable of shutting down critical infrastructure as well as corporate and government networks.

The ransomware virus includes code known as “Eternal Blue”, which cyber security experts widely believe was stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and was also used in last month’s ransomware attack, named “WannaCry”.