Cyber warfare is quietly being waged against commerce across Europe, attacking ports in some of the world’s biggest countries. Now, it may soon spread across the Untied States.
A new cyberattack similar to WannaCry is spreading from Europe to the U.S. and South America, hitting port operators in New York, Rotterdam and Argentina, disrupting government systems in Kiev, and disabling operations at companies including Rosneft PJSC, advertiser WPP Plc. and the Chernobyl nuclear facility.
More than 80 companies in Russia and Ukraine were initially affected by the Petya virus that disabled computers Tuesday and told users to pay $300 in cryptocurrency to unlock them, Moscow-based cybersecurity company Group-IB said. About 2,000 users have been attacked so far, according to Kaspersky Lab analysts, with organizations in Russia and the Ukraine the most affected.
Rob Wainwright, executive director at Europol, said the agency is “urgently responding” to reports of the new cyber attack. In a separate statement, Europol said it’s in talks with “member states and key industry partners to establish the full nature of this attack at this time.”
Kremlin-controlled Rosneft, Russia’s largest crude producer, said in a statement that it avoided “serious consequences” from the “hacker attack” by switching to “a backup system for managing production processes.”
While this attack will likely go unnoticed by the public, it’s likely just a matter of time until a major cyber attack delivers serious consequences across the globe. Soon, cyber attacks may be the newest form of public terrorism.