Update: FedEx has announced that their systems have been hacked by the malicious ransomware, which now appears to be a global cyberattack.
The attack appears to be carried out via a flaw in Microsoft Windows operating system known as EthernalBlue.
The source of the attack is yet unknown, but speculation abounds as to where it is coming from.
A ransomware attack has hit across Europe, particularly in Ukraine. The most severe damage is being reported by Ukrainian businesses. The Ukrainian Central Bank, state power distributor and Kiev Airport all reported that they were suffering from the effects of a cyber attack.
The Danish shipping company Maersk has also reported systems down across multiple sites, including the company’s Russian logistics arm Damco. The virus also reached servers for the Russian oil company Rosneft, although it’s unclear how much damage was incurred.
“We can confirm that Maersk IT systems are down across multiple sites and business units due to a cyber attack. We continue to assess the situation. The safety of our employees, our operations and customers’ business is our top priority. We will update when we have more information,” Maersk tweeted Tuesday.
Ransomware is the name given to programs that hold data hostage by scrambling it until a payment is made. The latest attack comes hot on the heels of the recent WannaCry ransomware that wreaked havoc across the globe.
One of the victims of Tuesday’s cyber attack, a Ukrainian media company, said its computers were blocked and it had a demand for $300 worth of the Bitcoin crypto-currency to restore access to its files.
“If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible, because they have been encrypted. Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don’t waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service,” the message said, according to a screenshot posted by Ukraine’s Channel 24.