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Ransomware returns: Ukraine-based attack hits companies worldwide

by AirTalk®

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In this photo illustration the logo of the multi-facetted internet giant Microsoft is displayed on a computer screen on April 13, 2006 in London, England. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

A ransomware attack which, according to Microsoft, began in Ukraine, has spread quickly across Europe and into parts of Asia, South America and the United States.

More than 12,500 machines with older Microsoft windows software were hit. Targets include an American pharmaceutical company, a French multinational, and a Russian energy company. Ukraine and Russia are most heavily affected.

Ransom money is involved: researchers found a bitcoin address from which attackers are demanding that victims pay $300, and some have complied As of this morning, 45 transactions had been made, though the address the attackers used has been shut down, meaning that they cannot restore access to files on hacked computers whether or not the victims paid ransom.

The attack comes on the heels of a similar May incident known as WannaCry, which hit dozens of countries across the globe, including computers in Russia’s interior ministry and in British hospitals.

Guest host Libby Denkmann in for Larry Mantle

Guests:

Lily Hay Newman, security staff writer at Wired who’s been following this story; she tweets @lilyhnewman @wired

Russell Brandom, reporter at the Verge; he’s been following this story and tweets @russellbrandom

Sean Hoar, partner in the Portland office of Lewis Brisbois and chair of the Data Privacy & Cyber Security Practice; he served as the lead cyber attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon 

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