Ukrainian companies are finding increasing amounts of malicious software planted on their computer systems, which the government says points to a coordinated effort to launch a major attack in the future, Reuters reported Tuesday.
It's reminiscent of the kind of activity the country's government saw in 2017, before Cadbury Creme Egg facility in Australia. The virus locked down computers and demanded a ransom paid in bitcoin. The US, Ukraine and UK , and .. The attack spread internationally, infecting companies like Danish shipping giant Maersk, US drug company Merck and a
Ukraine's cyber police chief, Serhiy Demedyuk, told Reuters the attack it thinks is brewing right now could play out in a similar way.
"Analysis of the malicious software that has already been identified and the targeting of attacks on Ukraine suggest that this is all being done for a specific day," Demedyuk told Reuters. He also said digital fingerprints on the intrusions point to Russia as the source.
The Russian embassy and the Ukrainian national police didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on this story.
Ukraine's concerns point to the larger threat of the chaos ransomware can bring. If victims don't have their files backed up, they face the question of whether to pay up or lose everything. Even if they pay, the hackers might not choose to -- or not be able to -- give them their files back. And if dozens of companies around the world are dealing with these problems at the same time, it can cause a major disruption.
Even without government-sponsored hackers in the mix, ransomware is a serious threat to computer users everywhere. Cybercriminals are so into this form of hacking that.
However, cybersecurity companies have seen conflicting data on whether ransomware attacks have remained popular among cybercriminals. A group of researchers at computer security firm Malwarebytes have seenBut in its annual data breach report, and made up 39 percent of malware infections in its data set.
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