>> The cyber attack that started Tuesday is wreaking havoc across the globe Wednesday. Crippling thousands of computers, disrupting operations at ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles. And halting production at a chocolate factory in Australia. FedEx said operations in its TNT Express unit were disrupted in the attack, but added that no data was breached.
The virus is believed to have first taken hold in Ukraine where it infected computers after users downloaded a popular tax accounting package or visited a local news site, according to national police and international cyber experts. The malicious code locked machines and demanded victims post a ransom worth $300 in Bitcoins or lose their data entirely, similar to the extortion tactic used in the global wanna cry ransomware attack in May.
But security experts are questioning whether extortion was the goal or whether the hackers were driven by destructive motives rather than financial gain. The shipping company Maersk was one of the first global firms to be taken down by the attack. The company said on Wednesday that it was unable to process new orders, and its 76 terminals around the world were becoming increasingly congested.
While the malware seemed to be a variant of past campaigns, taken from code believed to be developed by the NSA, experts say it was not as damaging a the Wannacry attack in May.