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Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Hit By Cyber Attack, Spreads Across The World

Virus infects computers monitoring radiation

By: Daniel Newton  |@NeonNettle
 on 27th June 2017 @ 4.55pm
chernobyl nuclear power plant has been hit by a cyber attack consisting of virulent malicious data © press
Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been hit by a cyber attack consisting of virulent malicious data-

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant has been hit by a cyber attack consisting of virulent malicious data-scrambling software. 

The attack, which has caused massive disruption across the Europe, had hit the computers which were monitoring the power plant.

The virus has now been reported to be disrupting the Ukrainian power grid and also banks and offices.

The team at the Chernobyl plant were said to be working tirelessly to contain the situation, but shift director Vladimir Ilchuk stated that there was no nuclear threat.

The Mirror reports: He said that a radiation leak was avoided due to "excess levels of control" at the power plant. However, all work has been suspended as staff monitoring the plant are unable to access reports and metrics on their computers.

Ukraine's prime minister said the cyber attack is "unprecedented" but "vital systems haven't been affected".

Volodymyr Groysman also said on Facebook that "our IT experts are doing their job and protecting critical infrastructure... The attack will be repelled and the perpetrators will be tracked down."

Russia's Rosneft energy company also reported falling victim to hacking, as did shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, which said every branch of its business was affected.

Ukrainian deputy prime minister Pavlo Rozenko posted a picture of a darkened computer screen on Twitter, saying the computer system at the government's headquarters has been shut down.

There is very little information about who might be behind the Eastern European disruption.

Technology experts who examined screenshots circulating on social media said it bears the hallmarks of ransomware, the name given to programmes that hold data hostage by scrambling it until a payment is made.

"A massive ransomware campaign is currently unfolding worldwide," said Romanian cybersecurity company Bitdefender.

It said the malicious program appeared to be nearly identical to GoldenEye, one of a family of rogue programs that has been circulating for months.

It is not clear why the ransomware has suddenly become so much more potent.

The world is still recovering from a previous outbreak of ransomware, called WannaCry or WannaCrypt, which crippled organisations globally - including NHS Trusts up and down the country.

The malware spread rapidly using digital break-in tools originally created by the US National Security Agency and recently leaked to the web.

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