| Ukraine thwarts fresh cyber attack

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Kiev – Ukraine claimed on Wednesday that it had thwarted a fresh cyber attack that was to be carried out via a programme blamed for spreading a virus that caused disruption across the globe last week.

Interior minister Arsen Avakov said that Ukraine’s cyberpolice on Tuesday stopped a second wave of attacks from spreading via the M.E.Doc accounting software system and confiscated the servers of the company behind the programme.

“The peak of the attack was scheduled at 4PM (13:00 GMT),” Avakov wrote on his Facebook page.

“Cyberpolice blocked the mailing and activation of the virus from the servers of the information system M.E.Doc,” he added.

Ukrainian police confirmed the seizure of the servers and said that M.E.Doc was informed about vulnerabilities in their system, but that it had ignored the warning.

The M.E.Doc programme has been singled out by authorities as the source responsible for spreading the virus that locked up computers around the planet last week after first hitting Ukraine.

The company has denied it was to blame.

The virus, which demanded a payment of $300 as it locked up files at companies and government agencies including the Chernobyl nuclear site, spread from Ukraine to a raft of other countries.

Computer experts are still scrambling to find the culprits for the attack but Ukraine has been quick to point the finger at Russia.

Ukraine and Russia are locked in a bitter feud over a Kremlin-backed rebellion and the seizure of the Crimea region, and Kiev has accused Moscow of previous crippling hacking attacks.

The June 27 attack was reminiscent of the WannaCry ransomware that hit computers worldwide in May, but some experts suggested the second attack was more sophisticated and designed to wipe data rather than extort money.

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