Ransomware, the weapon wielded in cyber attacks

Peace and Freedom

AFP

© AFP/File / by Valentin BONTEMPS | Ransomware, which is a type of virus that locks computer files until the user pays a virtual fee to regain access to the data, has been used in the latest wave of international cyberattacks

PARIS (AFP) – Ransomware demands which hit a clutch of multinationals Tuesday are the latest in a wave of international cyberattacks in recent months.In Europe, Danish sea transport company Maersk, British advertising giant WPP and French industrial group Saint-Gobain all came under attack as did US pharmaceutical group Merck.

The attacking tool is believed to be ransomware of the so-called Petya malware type, which earlier affected firms in Russia including oil giant Rosneft and Ukraine.

The latest wave comes just six weeks after what the EU’s law enforcement agency described as an “unprecedented” attack by WannaCry ransomware which hit more than 100 countries — notably Britain’s National Health Service.

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