WannaCry's "bad cousin" behind new global cyber attack

Technology > Security

A new computer virus called Nyetya is currently affecting several companies and institutions around the world.

According to Cisco, one of the world’s leading network hardware companies today, Nyetya is a new variant of ransomware and referred to as “WannaCry’s bad cousin.”

Several companies and organisations doing businesses in Russia and Ukraine reported that they were hit by the cyber attack on Tuesday, June 27. The malware was also reported to be extending to Asia and Australia by the next day. Some of the companies affected in the Asia Pacific are Mondelez-owned Cadbury Chocolate Factory in Hobart, Tasmania; and DLA Piper, a multinational law firm. Through its Hong Kong website, DLA Piper released a statement to its clients, saying that "we have taken down our systems as a precautionary measure which will mean you are currently unable to contact us by email or landline."

Talos cybersecurity executive Craig Williams said that the threat does not have "a known, viable external spreading mechanism - such as the Internet." He added that “it is possible that some infections may be connected with software update systems for a Ukrainian tax accounting package called MeDoc."

However, Williams also said that since the malware that emerged on Tuesday is quite "different" from the Petya virus, its infection "will spread very quickly if the 'bad guys' behind it decide to do so." Investigation on the initial vector of the virus is still ongoing.

Photo By: Bykst / Pixabay