Ukraine Target of New Computer Virus, NotPetya

by Tech Mainstream Staff


June 29, 2017



Ukrainian police have determined the new NotPetya computer virus, that has spread to 60 countries, originated in the country's computer infrastructure. 75% of the NotPetya virus attacks were in the Ukraine alone. The computer worm has "paralyzed thousands of machines worldwide, shutting down ports, factories and offices as it spread through internal organizational networks."

The Ukraine has blamed Russia for the attack. Yet Russia has denied theses accusations as "unfounded blanket accusations." Russia maintains this position since two major energy companies were also attacked by the virus as well. Security experts, armed with technical evidence, have determined that the main thrust of the attack was to "install new malware on computers at government and commercial organizations in Ukraine. Rather than extortion, the goal may be to plant the seeds of future sabotage, experts said."

Although similar to the WannaCry virus that hit systems globally in May, NotPetya "spreads itself inside organizational networks, " and this "makes it far harder for anti-virus software or network security technicians to detect. It also gives it the capacity to infect other Windows computers, even those with the latest security patches." This is unlike WannaCry where "computers scanned the internet globally for other vulnerable machines."

A number of security experts have concluded that monetary gain was not the goal but rather "But widespread destruction," as Kaspersky global head of research Costin Raiu stated. Another security researcher, Lesley Carhart, concluded that "NotPetya ..combined elements of a targeted watering hole attack we’ve traditionally seen used by nation states with traditional software exploitation to devastate a specific user base."