The small Ukrainian tax software company that is accused of being the patient zero of a damaging global cyber epidemic is under investigation and will face charges, the head of Ukraine’s CyberPolice has suggested. Col Serhiy Demydiuk, the head of Ukraine’s national Cyberpolice unit, said in an interview with The Associated Press that Kiev-based M E Doc’s employees had blown off repeated warnings about the security of their information technology infrastructure. “They knew about it,” he told the AP at his office yesterday. “They were told many times by various anti-virus firms. … For this neglect, the people in this case will face criminal responsibility.”
Demydiuk and other officials say last week’s unusually disruptive cyberattack was mainly spread through a malicious update to M E Doc’s eponymous tax software program, which is widely used by accountants and businesses across Ukraine. The malicious update, likely planted on M E Doc’s update server by a hacker, was then disseminated across the country before exploding into an epidemic of data-scrambling software that Ukrainian and several other multinational firms are still recovering from. M E Doc initially denied playing any such role in the malicious software’s spread but later deleted the statement from Facebook. The company, which says it’s cooperating with authorities, has not returned messages seeking comment.
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Meanwhile, several companies hit by last week’s cyberattack say they are edging closer to normalcy. Law firm DLA Piper said late Sunday that it has restored its email service and was working to bring its other networks back online. Danish shipper A P Moller-Maersk said “our operations are now running close to normal again.” Russian companies were reportedly affected as well; Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft said yesterday it had taken the company six days to fully repair its computer systems after they were badly hit in the cyberattack.