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Ukraine’s Internet association chief rules out Russia’s role in Petya ransomware attack

June 28, 13:03 UTC+3 KIEV

At the moment, according to the Ukrainian government, specialists have managed to stop the virus from spreading

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©  REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

KIEV, June 28. /TASS/. Head of the Ukrainian Internet Association (UIA) Alexander Fedienko has ruled out that Russia may have been behind the Petya ransomware attack that struck the country’s government network infrastructure, the banking sector and private companies.

"Personally, I don’t support this theory (about Russia’s role). This is more reminiscent of a battle between a subculture and society. There is a virtual society of hackers that every time taps regular society on the shoulder as a reminder that they should not forget about them. In fact, this has always been the case and there has always been a standoff between hackers and companies, developing antivirus software," Fedienko told Ukraine’s Apostrophe portal.

Fedienko also said the affected computers are unlikely to be rescued. "Judging on the analysis of our specialists, it is clear that files have been completely encrypted due to the virus," he said. "All the equipment tainted by this virus can be simply tossed into a trash can, since it is impossible to cure computers from this virus."

At the moment, according to the Ukrainian government’s press service, specialists have managed to stop the virus from spreading and are assessing the damage inflicted by the cyber attack.

Petya shatters Ukraine

On Tuesday, a major cyber attack using a ransomware virus dubbed Petya targeted dozens of energy, telecoms and financial companies throughout Russia and Ukraine, and then began to spread worldwide. The malware blocks computers and prevents users from uploading an operating system. The virus extorts a $300 ransom in bitcoins for the resumption of work and file decryption.

The virus has disrupted the work of Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers, major banks and retail networks. Besides, the ransomware blocked the operations of systems monitoring radiation in the exclusion zone around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster and registration procedures at the country’s international airports and railway stations.

The head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Alexander Turchinov, immediately rushed to blame Russia for the cyber attack, which engulfed Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the virus has also disrupted routine operations at Russian oil, telecoms and financial companies. Computers in a number of agencies and state enterprises in Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and other countries were also targeted.

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