A major cyber attack, believed to have first struck in Ukraine, has continued to cause havoc around the world, cripppling computers or halting operations at port operator Maersk, the property arm of French bank BNP Paribas and a Cadbury plant in Australia. Kate King reports.
Broadcasters: NO ACCESS UK, NO USE AFTER 30 DAYS MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY 'MIKHAIL GOLUB', MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY 'INSTAGRAM/KENNYMIMO', Digital: NO ACCESS UK-FOCUSED PUBLISHERS, NO USE AFTER 30 DAYS ON ALL PLATFORMS MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY 'MIKHAIL GOLUB', MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY 'INSTAGRAM/KENNYMIMO'**~ From a Cadbury factory in Tasmania, to the property arm of France's biggest bank BNP Paribas. It's now clear that Tuesday's cyber attack spread much further than its start point in eastern Europe. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR ISAAC BEN ISRAEL, HEAD OF THE BLAVATNIK CYBER RESEARCH CENTRE IN TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "The main attack here was an attack on Ukraine and it was masked by the ransomware attack that happenned, as I said, in many other countries Experts say the virus bore similarities to the ransomware that infected more than 300,000 computers last month. Code known as 'Eternal Blue', used in both. Reverberations from the attack continuing on Wednesday with shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk telling Reuters it's unable to process new orders. WPP, the world's biggest advertising agency, says it too is working with IT partners to restore services Globally, Russia and Ukraine were most affected, with oil giant Rosneft one of those hit. Raising questions about one theory - that the attack had 'Russian fingerprints' on it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL DANIEL, PRESIDENT OF THE CYBER THREAT ALLIANCE AND FORMER CYBER SECURITY COORDINATOR AT THE WHITE HOUSE, SAYING: "Russia is the obvious target for Ukraine to point at but there are many many criminal organisations in the world based in many different countries. And it could be a criminal organisation, it could be a hacktivist." The virus crippled computers running on microsoft windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files, then demanding $300 in bitcoin payments to restore access SOUNDBITE (English) SECURITY RESEARCHER, TROY HUNT, SAYING: "Ransomeware is very effective because attackers can sit at home in the comfort of their own living room possibly on the other side of the world and mount these attacks with very low risk to themselves and very low upside." It's still unclear whether the motive was money, Either way it's exposed significant weaknesses in big business across the world