WannaCry again? Europe hit by huge cyber attack

Company and government officials reported serious intrusions at the Ukrainian power grid, banks and government offices, where one senior official posted a photo of a darkened computer screen and the words, "the whole network is down".

The number of companies and agencies reportedly affected by the ransomware campaign was piling up fast, and the electronic rampage appeared to be rapidly snowballing into a worldwide crisis.

Update your Microsoft software as a priority as this ransomware uses the same vulnerability, dubbed EternalBlue, as WannaCry ransomware.

A new wave of ransomware attacks swept the world on Tuesday, starting with Ukraine and spreading to other regions of the world.

The ransomware cyberattack on Tuesday targeted thousands of government and private corporate servers across the globe - demanding a $300 ransom paid in Bitcoin to release the encryption imposed by the virus that prevents users from accessing their devices.

The payment method via an email address that was quickly shut down, is considered amateurish and led to speculation that the virus' goal was not monetary gain, but rather to simply cause damage. The attack also affected Evraz, a steel manufacturing and mining company that employs about 80,000 people, the RBC website reported. The radiation monitoring system at Chernobyl was taken offline, forcing employees to use hand-held counters to measure levels at the former nuclear plant's exclusion zone.

Cadbury owner Mondelez International Inc said in a statement overnight staff in various regions were experiencing technical problems but it was unclear whether this was due to a cyber-attack.

The incident was the second of such attack in two months.

Australian Cyber Security Minister Dan Tehan said the attack, a month after the similar WannaCry attack, was "a wake-up call to all Australian businesses to regularly back up their data and install the latest security patches".

By late Tuesday, roughly $8,500 had been deposited in Bitcoin accounts linked to the attack.

One of the terminals being operated by A.P. Moller-Maersk in India, at Mumbai's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.

Russian Federation and Ukraine are most affected with the thousands of Ransomware attack, according to security software maker Kaspersky Lab, with other countries including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the United States.

Reports that the computer virus was a variant of Petya suggest the attackers will be hard to trace.

The new strain, which has similarities to a well-known software called Petya but may be a modified or wholly new version, has already caused a significant amount of damage in Europe and has moved to the US. Some security firms are calling the new menace GoldenEye, describing it as a variation of the Petya family of ransomware that targets Windows PCs. This will ensure that even if your machine is affected by a ransomware, you won't lose your important data.