WannaCry : All You Need To Know About The Biggest Ransomware Attack

On Friday, May 12th WannaCry a ransomware malware first discovered and it had spread to an estimated 2,30,000 systems affected amongst the 150 countries were Russia, Ukraine, India, and Taiwan, according to Kaspersky.

The ransomware malware halted several companies and organizations, including banks, hospitals, and government websites.

Marcus Hutchins, a 22-years-old security researcher slowed the spread of the WannaCry, he registered the web domain hidden with the malware in order to track the spread of WannaCry malware, thus unintentionally stopping its progress of infecting.

What Is WannaCry And How It Was Created?

“WannaCry” is a trojan virus called ransomware. It encrypts every file on the computer system and demands the victim of the infected computer to pay a ransom money in exchange for the decryption key in order to regain access.

WannaCry trojan work on the “EternalBlue” exploit discovered by the National Security Agency(NSA). The vulnerability details were released publicly by the group called Shadow Brokers.

What Can WannaCry Do?

It starts encrypting the victim computer files. After encrypting the malware then demands the ransom in order to decrypt the files. WannaCry demands the victim a ransom of $300 in bitcoin at the time of infection. And if the victim doesn’t pay the ransom money within three days, the amount get doubles to $600. After the seven days without payment, It will delete all the encrypted files from the victim computers.

WannaCry : All You Need To Know About The Biggest Ransomware Attack

As Per Symantec, WannaCry almost covers every important file format Example – .xls, mp3, mp4, zip, rar, doc, pdf etc. It also installs a text file on the user’s desktop with the following ransom note:

WannaCry : All You Need To Know About The Biggest Ransomware Attack

Impact Of WannaCry:

WannaCry : All You Need To Know About The Biggest Ransomware Attack
Map showing global outbreaks of the biggest ransomware attack.

On India:

According to India Today, “There are about 100 systems attacked in India and as of now, there are no more threats…We understand systems in Andhra Pradesh are impacted, but so far our assessment is that there isn’t much impact.”

On the UK:

Nearly 36 British hospitals in the UK were infected by the ransomware and were threatened that their data would be wiped out.

On Russia:

Russia’s Interior Ministry claimed that “around 1,000 computers were infected,”.

How To Protect Yourself?

Sadly, there is no fix for WannaCry available at this time. Antivirus companies are working on ways to decrypt the files on the victim computers.

But there are many ways to stay safe from this type of ransomware attack.

  • Backup all your important data on an external hard disk.
  • Keep your system up-to-date with the latest version of security patch installed. Windows users with machines that run Windows XP, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2003 should immediately install this security update released on Friday by Microsoft.
  • Don’t click on any links or downloading attachments in emails from any sender one does not recognize and also block the pop-ups

This section on Microsoft.com has provided some useful guidelines.

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