At least six countries have been hit by a new cyber attack since Tuesday. The attack could rival the WannaCry ransomware attack in its damage done. NPR’s Bill Chappell and Colin Dwyer report:
In the U.S., Department of Homeland Security spokesman Scott McConnell says the agency is “monitoring reports of cyber attacks affecting multiple global entities and is coordinating with our international and domestic cyber partners.”
Any requests for help from DHS are confidential, McConnell says.
Interpol says it is also “closely monitoring” the suspected attack.
Computers hit by the malware display a locked screen that demands a payment to retrieve files. The malware promises to provide a specialized key to users who pay a ransom of $300 in bitcoins — the same ploy used by the WannaCry ransomware, which affected computers in more than 150 countries.
WannaCry was based on exploits stolen from the National Security Agency — including a program called EternalBlue, which exploited a Microsoft vulnerability. Petya reportedly shares some of WannaCry’s traits — but while computers that had gotten a security patch were safe from WannaCry, Petya can also infect patched machines.
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