28 Jun 2017
Yesterday, Ukraine declared it had been struck by the biggest cyberattack in its history, one that went on to cause disruption to banks, government IT systems and energy firms worldwide. The hack appears to be a modified version of the Wannacry virus – a type of ransomware that impaired NHS computer systems back in May.
Following the WannaCry ransomware attacks this hack has been identified as a new strain of ransomware called Petya (or Petwrap) which is starting to attack companies throughout Europe. Petya is a powerful form of ransomware that follows a similar pattern to WannaCry and denies access to a computer system followed by a Bitcoin ransom request from users to regain access. The virus is usually distributed through spam emails containing a download link to a file and activates once the file is downloaded and opened.
The Petya strain also targets Windows-based systems and uses a Server Message Block vulnerability to attack and encrypt the system’s master boot file. Once it is active it suggests a system reboot after which the system will not be able to locate any files.
There are a few steps you can take to help stay safe:
- Update and run your antivirus
- Ensure your system patches are installed and up to date
- Back up your systems
- Read your emails carefully and hover over any links to check where they send you. If in doubt do not click through
- Install a ransomware solution such as CyberReason to prevent further attacks.
The Petya ransomware attack is another example of why you shouldn’t rely on basic antivirus software to protect your organisation from the wide range of malware attacks out there. The only way to stand any chance of defending against these type of attacks is to have an in-depth cyber security strategy.
Should you require any assistance with your security strategy, contact us for a free assessment today.