Marketing services giant WPP is among a raft of companies which have been struck by a new worldwide ransomware attack, just weeks after the WannaCry virus caused global chaos.
It has been reported that several of WPP’s agencies including GroupM, MediaCom, Y&R and Burson-Marsteller have been affected by the issue, which has also hit Mondelez International, Russian oil producer Rosneft, Danish shipping company Maersk and parcel giant TNT.
Ukrainian firms, including the state power distributor and Kiev’s main airport were among the first to report issues.
In an email sent to WPP agencies, staff have been told that all Windows machines “must be turned off and disconnected immediately until further notice”. WPP’s main website has also been affected.
Experts suggest the malware is taking advantage of the same weaknesses used by the Wannacry attack last month.
Computer scientist Prof Alan Woodward told the BBC: “It appears to be a variant of a piece of ransomware that emerged last year. It was updated earlier in 2017 by the criminals when certain aspects were defeated. The ransomware was called Petya and the updated version Petrwrap.” It has been claimed that one South Korean hosting firm paid $1m to get its data back from the original attack.
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