The following is an excerpt from PATRICK REEVELLBRIAN ROSS PETE MADDEN | June 27, 2017 | abcnews.go.com |
A massive cyberattack that freezes computers and demands a ransom to open them has hit companies in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world today, U.S. officials and private cybersecurity analysts said.
Among the American targets are the giant Merck pharmaceutical company in New Jersey; a major multinational law firm, DLA Piper; and possibly the Mondelez food company, which produces Oreo cookies.
According to American cybersecurity researchers, the ransomware attack used a global spam campaign to trick computer users into downloading malicious software that locks them out of their devices until they pay $300 in Bitcoin. The email address where victims can confirm payment is not working, however, making recovery impossible.
Researchers tell ABC News that tens of thousands of computers across multiple large organizations in at least four continents have been hit, with organizations in Russia and the Ukraine the most affected.
While several researchers identified the virus as a derivative of the “Petya” ransomware, Kaspersky Lab, which congressional sources told ABC News is itself under FBI scrutiny, disputed that assessment, concluding that the virus was “a new ransomware that has not been seen before” and dubbing it “NotPetya.”
For more visit: abcnews.go.com