Saturday, November 25, 2017

Global ransomware attack spreads to India, China

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2017-06-28 11:38:28 BdST

A hooded man holds a laptop computer as blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. Reuters

A major global cyber attack which initially targeted European banks and companies has now spread to networks in India, Reuters reports.

Experts say the attack involved a virus similar to the WannaCry ransomware that infected 300,000 computers around the world in May.

Operations at one of the three terminals of Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai, India's largest container port, were disrupted.

The impacted terminal is operated by Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, which also reported disruptions in Los Angeles. JNPT chairman Anil Diggikar told Reuters the port has been trying to clear containers manually and is operating at about a third of its capacity.

India-based employees of Beiersdorf, the makers of Nivea skin care products, told Reuters the ransomware had infiltrated their systems. The impact on the German-based company could not be estimated and Beiersdorf could not be reached for comment by Reuters.

British consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, the owners of Enfamil, Dettol and Lysol, were also hit by the attack, the company’s Indian employees told Reuters. Estimates of the impact were, again, unavailable.

Bloomberg reports that there are signs the virus has begun to spread in China, but no major incidents have been confirmed.

The latest cyber attack exacerbates concerns that businesses have not taken adequate security measures to protect themselves from hackers are capable of shutting down essential infrastructure and crippling corporate and government networks.

The WannaCry incident crippled computers running Microsoft Corp's Windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files, and holding them ransom for $300 in bitcoin payments to restore access.

A March security update had patched the flaw that allowed the virus to infiltrate systems, Microsoft said.

"We are continuing to investigate and will take appropriate action to protect customers," a spokesman for the company said.

According to security software company Kaspersky Lab, Russia and Ukraine were the worst hit by the attack. Victims were also reported Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the United States, but an estimate of the total number affected was not available.