'GoldenEye' ransomware outbreak hits Australia

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'GoldenEye' ransomware outbreak hits Australia

With Cadbury's Tasmanian factory joining the many other global victims, we remind you how to protect your systems.

The new ransomware outbreak, which is bringing down systems around the globe, has hit Australia. The ABC reported that systems at the Cadbury chocolate factory in Tasmania have been shut down by the ransomware.

The ransomware, which has been given various names including GoldenEye, Petya and NotPetya, is reported to demand US$300 worth of the Bitcoin to unencrypt a computer's files.

According to iTnews, the attack has taken out servers at Russia's biggest oil company, disrupted operations at Ukrainian banks, and shut down computers at multinational shipping and advertising firms.

The attacks follow the recent WannaCry outbreak, which infected over 300,000 computers in 150 countries, including at least 12 Australian small businesses, including, most recently, red light and speed cameras across Victoria.

The new attacks highlight again the importance of following the ransomware defence measures that we've previously recommended – particularly keeping operating systems and other software up-to-date.

Symantec, Avira‏ and others have said the new ransomware is a variant of Petya, which apparently uses the same Windows vulnerability used by WannaCry – a vulnerability that Microsoft released a security update for months ago.

Kaspersky Lab said its preliminary findings suggest it’s not a Petya variant, but “a new ransomware that has not been seen before”, dubbing it “NotPetya” – but the company agreed it used the same vulnerability. Kaspersky also reported that its telemetry data indicates around 2,000 users have been attacked so far.

Organisations in Europe appear to have borne the brunt of the outbreak so far, although reports from elsewhere are starting to appear.

Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk:

Advertising firm WPP:

ATMs in Ukraine:

Law firm DLA Piper in the US:

We’ll update this story as more details come to hand.

If you think you may have been infected, see our ransomware survival guide for  guidance. For prevention tips, see our ransomware defence guide.

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