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Ukraine cyber security firm warns of possible new attacks
August 22, 2017 / 5:53 PM / a month ago

Ukraine cyber security firm warns of possible new attacks

A view shows a laptop display (R) showing part of a code, which is the component of Petya malware computer virus according to representatives of Ukrainian cyber security firm ISSP, with an employee working nearby at the firm's office in Kiev, Ukraine July 4, 2017. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian cyber security firm ISSP said on Tuesday it may have detected a new computer virus distribution campaign, after security services said Ukraine could face cyber attacks similar to those which knocked out global systems in June.

The June 27 attack, dubbed NotPetya, took down many Ukrainian government agencies and businesses, before spreading rapidly through corporate networks of multinationals with operations or suppliers in eastern Europe.

ISPP said that, as with NotPetya, the new malware seemed to originate in accounting software and could be intended to take down networks when Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day on Aug. 24.

“This could be an indicator of a massive cyber attack preparation before National Holidays in Ukraine,” it said in a statement.

In a statement, the state cyber police said they also had detected new malicious software.

The incident is “in no way connected with global cyber attacks like those that took place on June 27 of this year and is now fully under control,” it said.

The state cyber police and the Security and Defence Council have said Ukraine could be targeted with a NotPetya-style attack aimed at destabilizing the country as it marks its 1991 independence from the Soviet Union.

Last Friday, the central bank said it had warned state-owned and private lenders of the appearance of new malware, spread by opening email attachments of word documents.

Ukraine - regarded by some, despite Kremlin denials, as a guinea pig for Russian state-sponsored hacks - is fighting an uphill battle in turning pockets of protection into a national strategy to keep state institutions and systemic companies safe.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Mark Heinrich and Richard Balmforth

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