On Friday, 12 May 2017, hundreds of thousands of computers all over the world began reporting a new ransomware attack. Within 24 hours, the “WannaCry” ransomeware had spread to over a hundred different countries. This malware, which only infect Windows computers, would lock your ability to do most things your computer. It would encrypt your important data so that you were unable to retrieve or use the files. The locked data could only be released if the “ransom” was paid through bitcoins (about $300 worth). Even hospitals were caught in the attack, which lead to much chaos.
Security experts discovered a “Kill Switch” embedded in the code which was used to stop the spread of the attack. Many experts believe this is just the tip of the iceberg, as copycats will likely exploit the code and use it to cause further problems and damage.
Ransomeware is a term used for a particular type of malware, that demands a ransome (usually money), in exchange for a kidnapped file(s). Ransomeware is often spread through email. You may receive an email claiming to be from a legitimate source, and you must click on a particular file or install some software. It also could be spread through file sharing services, such as when you want to download some pirated music and it requires a “special” application to play the song.
If you wish to know more about Ransomware and in particular what and how the “WannaCry” attack occured in more details please click here.
If you do not wish to read, you can also see the video below on what Ransomeware is, and what you should do concerning this malicious software: