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cyberattack

Massive 'Petya' cyberattack hits Europe, South Asia

A massive worldwide cyberattack is causing disruptions from Spain to India, with Ukraine the heaviest hit and the apparent initial target, The Independent reports.

The attack is the biggest in Ukraine's history, affecting everything from the banks to the electricity grids and metro. Ukraine's prime minister called the attack "unprecedented," but clarified that "vital systems haven't been affected."

Ukraine has faced a history of cyberattacks or hacking attempts in the past several years. The country has blamed such attacks, including one on its power grid in 2015, on Russia, The Guardian reports. Russia has denied the charges.

Abroad, other companies, including Russia's Rosneft oil company and the Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, have also reported being hacked. Security experts believe the virus is a variant of the "Petya" ransomware and are already likening the attack to the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, which infected an estimated 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries.

Some already fear the Petya attack could be even bigger than the WannaCry attack.