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Global cyber attack is a new version of the 'Wannacry' virus that took down the NHS, Ukrainian official says

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 27 June 2017 16:23 BST
'Petya' cyber attack hits firms across the world

An adviser to Ukraine's interior minister said a version of the "WannaCry" ransomware had caused outages on government websites and those of several companies, a cyber attack he called the worst in Ukraine's history.

The hack began in the country but has since spread across the world, hitting companies as widely as Danish shipping company Maersk and British advertising company WPP, the biggest in the world.

Adviser Anton Gerashchenko said Ukrainian IT systems had been targeted with "Cryptolocker" a version of WannaCry, the virus that locked up more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries in May.

"The ultimate goal of the cyberattack was to try to destabilise," he wrote in a post on Facebook in which he said the attacks probably originated from Russia.

The Wannacry attack is most famous for locking down NHS computers and causing havoc in hospitals and doctors surgeries across Britain. But its effect was much wider and more international, and the virus spread quickly across the world.

Like that attack, it appears to be an example of ransomware – screenshots show people's computers being locked down and showing only a message asking for money, after which the virus promises the computer will be unlocked.

The world is still recovering from that attack, which was launched using modified versions of tools that were originally made by the US National Security Agency and was leaked onto the internet.

Additional reporting by agencies

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