The primary target of a crippling computer virus that spread from Ukraine across the world this week was like to have been the country's computer infrastructure, a top Ukrainian police official told Reuters on Thursday (See: Major firms hit as Petya virus sweeps from Ukraine to US).
Cyber security firms were trying to identify the source of the computer worm, dubbed NotPetya by some experts, which has paralysed thousands of machines worldwide. The worm had shut down ports, factories and offices as it spread through internal organisational networks to an estimated 60 countries.
Though Ukrainian politicians pointed to Russia, a Kremlin spokesman dismissed "unfounded blanket accusations''. The worm had shut down ports, factories and offices as it spread through internal organisational networks to an estimated 60 countries.
Moscow had faced similar accusations over two previous cyber strikes on the Ukrainian power grid and other attacks since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
According to a growing consensus among security researchers, armed with technical evidence, the main purpose of the attack was to install new malware on computers at government and commercial organisations in Ukraine.
According to experts, the attack might have been motivated by a desire to plant the seeds of a future sabotage.
Global businesses appeared to have suffered through their operations in the country.
According to statistics released on Thursday by Slovakian security software firm ESET, 75 per cent of the infections detected among its global customer base were in Ukraine, and that all of the top 10 countries hit were located in central, eastern or southern Europe.