Petya ransomware: Attacks are upping the ante

A new massive attack allegedly based on Petwrap ransomware, ‘Petya’ which started in Ukraine is now affecting countries across the world. The extent of the attack’s severity and its cause are still unknown. Once again it is a ransomware that is infecting computers worldwide making chaos,  and reports have come in that Petya has targeted systems at banks, power suppliers and businesses in Europe, Russia, Ukraine and India. No reports of this attack have been reported in the Middle East yet.

This latest wave of what looks to be ransomware is just another example of the real-world threats encountered by organisations, governments and countries all over the world. These attacks are upping the ante, as they hit services that affect people’s day-to-day activity; such as healthcare, postal services, and transport services.

Following the news that a new cyberattack, similar to the WannaCry attack is targeting businesses across the world, Taj el Khayat, Director for he Gulf, Levant & North Africa region at F5 Networks said, “While the reported ransom demands of $300 to release the encrypted data seems low, this will scale up very quickly. The more concerning issue is how national infrastructure is being impacted. There is no easy solution to eradicate ransomware, but when the dust settles, the source of the compromises needs to be determined and remediated.”

According to Khayat, the focus needs to be on application and data security with cyber security education being and integral part of everybody’s daily lives. “Going into the new world of IoT and connected devices, with every element focusing on the application, the digital attack surface area will continue to grow. This gives the attackers more opportunities to infiltrate data.”