After Maersk, TNT, a subsidiary of FedEx, the US based logistics company has also reported having suffered from a global ransomware attack that is shutting down systems around the world by encrypting data and demanding a hefty ransom payment in return for releasing it. The spate of attacks has been continuous since last year when the WannaCry ransomware affected almost 200,000 users in more than a 150 countries. Although the company said in a statement that no data has been breached, the losses are still expected to be substantial.
What is WannaCry and Why It Is So important?
WannaCry is one of the biggest ransomwares detected ever since this cybercrime gained popularity. It was designed using leaked NSA tools that allowed it to spread rapidly, affecting hundreds of thousands of systems including those from major organizations and corporations around the globe like the National Health Services, logistics companies like FedEx and Maersk and other household and business institutions. Although a security researcher discovered a ‘kill switch’ hidden in the malware code, allowing the spread to be halted, the aftermath of the attack continue to be felt around the world.
The recent attacks have been accredited to a modified form of malware that is engineered on the fundamentals of WannaCry and has been dubbed the “ExPetr” by researchers from Kaspersky Lab in Russia. This recent virus holds considerable similarities to last year’s attacks in the fact that it is spreading just as aggressively and most of the targets are centered in Ukraine or Russia.
The latest victim: TNT
The Netherland based multinational shipping company became the most recent target for the ransomware that has already claimed a large number of high profile victims. The company reported that its global services and communications had suffered tremendously and their intercontinental services were also experiencing delays. The firm however, reiterated that there was no data breach on sensitive information. TNT Express is an international delivery and shipping firm with operations in almost 200 countries. The company was acquired by FedEx last year for $4.8 billion.
Not the first time FedEx has been affected
WannaCry started affecting computer systems around the world in May 2017 and this is not the first time FedEx or any of its subsidiaries has suffered a disruption in operations because of the ransom malware. Last year FedEx reported communication and services disruptions that caused losses of almost $300 million to the Seattle based tech giant. Apart from FedEx officials, President Trump’s, National Security Advisor also confirmed in a press conference that the company was indeed hit by the WannaCry malware that had caused global chaos.
Other firms that have taken a hit around the world
FedEx is not the only company that has been targeted by hackers in the wave of attacks that began last year. Danish shipping and logistics company Maersk, the US based pharmaceutical giant Merck, Ukraine’s international airport and Russia’s biggest oil company have all fallen victim to these attacks in the preceding year.