Wannacry Forced 20,000 PetroChina Gas Stations Offline, Is Bitcoin to be Blamed?
15th May, Beijing-As per the report by NBD, over 20,000 gas station of PetroChina went offline on 13th May. Although 80% of the gas station resumed normal operation after 25 hours, it’s the first time that many ordinary people has to face the idea of Bitcoin so close. The company released a press release to explain the situation. Many other institutes in China were also infected. The Chinese Bitcoin community are busy clarifying “Bitcoin is a virus” as reported by some mainstream media. In the end, the winners in the attack might be those who hate to work on Mondays and the shareholders of anti-virus company in China.
At about 22:30 on May 12th, due to the outbreak of Bitcoin ransomware, the normal operation of the Company’s gas station were affected. The virus has compromised the online payment method like “Fuel Card” of PetroChina, bank card and other third party payment processor.
PetroChina’s Fuel Card self-service machine were infected by Wannacry. Source: Internet
At 1AM on 13th May, or 2 and a half hours later, all gas stations of PetroChina were forced to disconnect from the network.
It was a hard decision to make for the operators as PetroChina is one of the two major fuel suppliers in China. It’s the first time that a ransomware were getting so close to the general public.
Prior to the outbreak in PetroChina, the first wave of infection has hit the LAN network in educational institutes. At around 20 pm 12th May, many students reported their computer were frozen and a pop-up window asking 300USD worth of bitcoin to decrypt their infected file. Even the Beijing University fell for victims.
School LAN network got infected. source: Internet
Public facility in Beijing University got infected. Source: Internet
Bank ATMs are vulnerable. Source: Internet
Even the police become victims. Source: Internet
The outbreak of ransomware has raised concerns among the Chinese Bitcoin community for the smearing of Bitcoin. Wu Guanggeng, founder of Bixin, expressed his sympathy for the victims and accused those who attacked the hospitals. Wu also asked people not to confuse “bitcoin” and “virus” simply because these two words came up close in mainstream media coverage.
1. Bitcoin is not virus. The tool is called “eternal blue” and ask the ransom to be paid in Bitcoin. In the mainstream media coverage, the wording has been shortened to “Bitcoin Virus”.
2. Bitcoin is not virus and will not spread across Wechat moment. Therefore the bitcoin on my mobile phone wouldn’t be transferred to yours and I wouldn’t let it happen.
3. Bitcoin is not virus and certainly not the curator of virus. Virus is spawned from flawed system like Windows.
Compared to the impact of virus outbreak on bitcoin price, he was more concerned over the smearing of Bitcoin in the incident. He also advised people not to buy bitcoins in those exchanges that wouldn’t allow withdrawal.
Baidu Baike pushed a “Bitcoin Ransomware” to its headlines today. The entry was first created in 2015 when the CTB-locker was detected. Instead of using CTB-locker as the keyword, “Bitcoin” has been directly connected to the ransomware. Besides, Bitcoin Virus is a catchy phrase in Chinese compared to “wannacry” hashtag especially when Bitcoin price recently passed the 10,000 yuan milestone not long ago. Search on Baidu News with “Bitcoin ransomware” returns 2,990 articles and “ wannacry virus” returns 1,480.
The silver lining is that some people found that the infection could be a perfect excuse for lots of things like delayed thesis. But the shareholders of some software company in China may be the happiest group as their stocks went up 10% today as speculators believe that they are the beneficiaries.
Listed software company are considered beneficiaries of the WannaCry outbreak