Another malware attack stalks the world’s computers
A LITTLE over a month ago a piece of malicious computer software called WannaCry spread around the world, freezing Chinese cash machines, trashing German railway timetables and causing chaos in British hospitals. On June 27th the world was treated to a re-run. As The Economist went to press, a different piece of malicious software, tentatively dubbed NotPetya, had infected tens of thousands of PCs.
This outbreak started in Ukraine, hitting the electricity network, shutting down payment terminals and even locking up radiation monitors at Chernobyl. But it soon spread. Those affected included Rosneft, a Russian oil firm, Maersk, a Danish shipping company, and Merck, an American drugmaker.
Analysis by Microsoft suggests NotPetya spread via accounting software, popular in Ukraine, that is made by a firm called M.E. Doc. The malware’s creators seem to have used the process by which M.E. Doc sends…Continue reading