As posted on Petya cyber-attack: Cadbury factory hit as ransomware spreads to Australian businesses

Production at Cadbury’s chocolate factory in Hobart has stopped after its parent company found itself engulfed in the ransomware cyberattack that has spread through the US and Europe.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union’s Tasmanian secretary, John Short, said production stopped about 9.30pm on Tuesday after computers stopped working at the factory, which is owned by the Spanish food company Mondelez.

The “Petya” ransomware has caused serious disruption at companies such as the advertising giant WPP, the  Russian steel and oil firms Evraz and Rosneft and the French construction materials company Saint-Gobain.

Leon Compton

Ransomware attack comes to Tasmania. This is what Cadbury’s Hobart computers look like since 9:30pm #ransomware http://pic.twitter.com/tZIC16oQNH

June 27, 2017

The legal firm DLA Piper, Danish shipping and transport giant AP Moller-Maersk and Heritage Valley Health System, which runs hospitals and care facilities in Pittsburgh, also said their systems had been hit by the malware.

Infected computers display a message demanding a Bitcoin ransom worth $300. Those who pay are asked to send confirmation of payment to an email address.

However, that email address has been shut down by the email provider, which means there is no longer any way for people who decide to pay the ransom to contact the attacker for a decryption key to unlock their computer.

Short says the Hobart chocolate factory’s 500 employees, who produce about 50,000 tonnes of chocolate a year, turned up for work on Wednesday but it was unclear how long it would take to restore the computer systems so production can resume.

The attack was first reported in Ukraine, where the government, banks, state power utility and Kiev’s airport and metro system were all affected. The radiation monitoring system at Chernobyl was taken offline, forcing employees to use hand-held counters to measure levels at the former nuclear plant’s exclusion zone.