Hackers have caused widespread disruption across Europe with a series of major cyber attacks that hit Ukraine especially hard.
Company and government officials began reporting serious intrusions at the Ukrainian power grid, banks, airports, and government offices on Tuesday afternoon (local time).
Shortly after, Russia’s Rosneft oil company reported falling victim to hacking, as did Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk.
“We are talking about a cyber attack,” said Anders Rosendahl, a spokesman for the Copenhagen-based group.
“It has affected all branches of our business, at home and abroad.”
British, Spanish, and Dutch companies and organisations have also since reported being hit by cyber attacks.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko posted a picture of a darkened computer screen on Twitter, saying that the computer system at the Government’s headquarters had been shut down.
Tweet from Ukrainian Deputy PM Pavlo Rozenko with photo of a computer screen filled with error messages. The text of the tweet is written in Ukrainian
There is still very little information about who might be behind the disruptions, but technology experts who examined screenshots circulating on social media said it bears the hallmarks of ransomware, the name given to programs that hold data hostage by scrambling it until a payment is made.
The world is still recovering from a previous outbreak of ransomware, called WannaCry or WannaCrypt, which spread rapidly using digital break-in tools originally created by the US National Security Agency and recently leaked to the web.