Ransomware Attack at Mexican State Oil Firm Halts Work

According to employees and internal emails, a ransomware attack on Mexican state oil firm Pemex on Monday to take ransom from a major company in hackers’ latest bid to block computer servers and stop administrative work. Hackers have targeted companies with malicious programs that can oversee everything from supply chains to payments to manufacturing, removing them only after receiving sufficient payments.

An internal email seen by Reuters stated that Pemex was targeted by “Rook”, a strain of ransomware that experts say typically targets companies with annual revenues of between $ 500 million and $ 1 billion. Does.

“We are taking measures at the national level to fight the RYUK ransomware, which is affecting various Pemex servers in the country,” a company official said in an email on Sunday.

The attack is the latest challenge to embrace Pemex, already struggling to pay back massive debt, struggling to shut down years of declining oil production and a possible downgrade of its credit rating .

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Pemex said in a statement late on Monday that a cyber attack was attempted a day earlier, which in time “neutralized” the case and affected less than 5 percent of its computers.

Operations were normal, and oil production and storage were unaffected, Pemex said, noting that it often received cyber attacks and threats but none had yet been successful.

The company said Sunday that its computer center in the state of Mexico has detected an attack of ransomware that could “block computer screens or encode important, predefined files with passwords.”

Pemex hopes to resolve this in 48 hours and warns users nationwide not to turn on their computers.

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In a separate internal e-mail seen by Reuters, Pemex asked employees to disconnect from their networks and backup important information for the hard drive.

Three employees of Pemex blocked the work space on Monday because employees could not access a range of computer systems, such as those dealing with payments.

“The server crashed. People are not working,” said one, who was not asked to identify as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

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