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Fresh Cyber Attack!


By Mark Phillips ¦ Updated 26th October 2017, 05.12 EDT

In what is becoming yet another startling addition to a year plagued by numerous high-profile cyber attacks, Europe has been hit by a new wave of ransomware. The malicious software, which has been branded ‘Bad Rabbit’, follows the same modus operandi of other strains before it: forcibly locking and encrypting victims’ computers and demanding a monetary bribe for data to be released.

Once Bad Rabbit has taken hold, compromised computers display a ransom message that asks for £210 in the form of anonymous Bitcoin currency. According to online security firm Kaspersky Lab, Russia appears to be the main target of the malicious code, but reports state that computers in Ukraine, Germany and Turkey are also affected.

“What is known at the moment is that Bad Rabbit ransomware has infected several big Russian media outlets, with Interfax news agency and among the confirmed victims of the malware,” a Kaspersky Lab spokesman commented.
“Odessa International Airport has reported on a cyber attack on its information system, though whether it’s the same attack is not yet clear. This ransomware has infected devices through a number of hacked Russian media websites. Based on our investigation, this is a targeted attack against corporate networks, using methods similar to those used in the ExPetr attack.”

Interfax, one of Russia’s largest news agencies, reported that some of its services have been compromised by an “unprecedented virus attack”.

Meanwhile, an Odessa airport spokeswoman said flights were delayed due to workers having to manually process passenger data. The Kiev metro system also revealed a hack on its payment system having occurred, but reported trains were running as normal.

According to The Register, the Bad Rabbit ransomware is believed to hide behind the guise of a Windows Flash update in order to fool unsuspecting users into installing the virus on their computers. Once present, the software uses similar weaknesses exploited by both WannaCry and ExPetya to quickly spread through a network, shutting down machines along the way.

In June, the Ukraine was devastated by the ExPetya virus, one which severely affected government computers to the national power grid and ATM machines. The virus also breached highly critical radiation monitoring systems around Chernobyl which were temporarily taken offline during the cyber attack.

ExPetya began hitting the headlines just a few weeks after the notorious ransomware WannaCry began its ruthless international infection through 150 reported countries. The malicious code most famously affected UK health network, the NHS, crippling IT systems after computers (running the vulnerable XP) in dozens of hospitals were forcibly locked.

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