Petya attacks now appear to be causing permanent damage

After a hospital had to replace infected IT systems, now FedEx is the second organization to admit the drastic impact of the wiper malware.
By Jessica Davis
12:18 PM
Petya attacks

When the Petya attack struck Princeton Community Medical Hospital in West Virginia, the system had to replace infected computers. A community hospital is one thing, but then FedEx on Monday admitted that some of the damage Petya wreaked on its networks may be permanent. 

FedEx’s Ukrainian division was hit by the initial attack on June 28, which spread to more of the company’s systems. Officials said the majority of the affected computers were on the TNT Express network, an international transportation, delivery and freight transportation company owned by FedEx.

[Also: Nuance still down after Petya cyberattack, offers customers alternative tools]

FedEx officials told the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission in its annual 10-L filing that no data was stolen from the company’s network, but operations and communications were significantly affected.

“We cannot yet estimate how long it will take to restore the systems that were impacted, and it’s reasonably possible that TNT will be unable to fully restore all of the affected systems and recover all of the critical business data that was encrypted by the virus,” officials said in a statement.

[Also: Researchers find Petya ransomware vaccine, but no kill switch]

While officials said FedEx was able to restore IT systems and services right after the incident, “customers are still experiencing widespread service and invoicing delays.”

It’s been three weeks since the initial Petya cyberattack was initially thought to be ransomware, but it was later determined the virus was a wiper with one purpose: to disrupt networks. Microsoft said that at least a portion of the initial attacks stemmed from a software supply-chain attack with a legitimate MEDoc updater process.

Princeton Community, for its part, was the second health system to fall victim to the attack. 

Pennsylvania-based Heritage Valley Health System’s network was also impacted, and the virus spread throughout the health system’s entire network -- including satellite and community locations.

Major voice and language tool provider, Nuance Communications, and biopharma giant Merck were also part of the major U.S. NotPetya victims. There have been about 2,000 victims across 64 countries, but with FedEx’s announcement, it’s clear that the total damage is yet to be seen.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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