The cyberattack crippling Europe 'is a wake-up call to all Australian businesses'

Photo: Frank Connor – © 2014 – Universal Pictures via IMDb.

Australian businesses are being urged to improve their cyber security in the wake of the latest ransomware attack currently crippling companies in Europe.

Minister assisting the prime minister for cyber security Dan Tehan says the vulnerability to the cyberattack appears to be the same as that experienced in the WannaCry attack, which began in May.

That virus exploits the Microsoft Windows operating system through its Server Message Block protocol (SMB), encrypting data and then demanding ransom to unlock it. If the money is not paid, via Bitcoin, then the files are deleted.

“We are aware of the situation and monitoring it closely, we are in contact with our Five Eyes partners,” Tehan said.

“All businesses should immediately update their Windows operating system with the latest security patches and there are instructions on the ACSC website to do this.

“This ransomware attack is a wake-up call to all Australian businesses to regularly backup their data and install the latest security patches.

“The Government will continue to provide updates on this issue.”

Business which think they maybe have been infected are being told to isolate the affected computers from the wider network and use backup data to restore information.

There are reports that Cadbury operations in Australia may have been affected after its parent company Mondelez confirmed its international network “is experiencing a global IT outage”:

We continue to work quickly to address the current global IT outage across Mondelēz International and to contain any further exposure to our network.

Our teams are working offline in an effort to maintain business continuity with our customers and consumers around the world. We will share updates with our suppliers and partners as they become available.

At this time, we do not know when our systems will be restored but we appreciate everyone’s patience, understanding and partnership during this process.

Please check our corporate website and social media channels for future updates.

Cadbury Australia has been contacted for a comment. This post will be updated if we hear back.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at