Everything you need to know about WannaCry Ransonware attack and how to safeguard yourself
This Friday, unknown hackers stole a highly malicious software from National Security Agency’s bunch of cyber weapons and created a global havoc by misusing it. In last 4 days various entities throughout the world are affected by WannaCry Ransonware which includes governments, hospitals, businesses, and end users as well. As per latest update shared by Kaspersky Lab, the worst-affected among around 150 countries are India, Russia, Taiwan and Ukraine. According to an estimated, WannaCry Ransonware have affected more than 3lakh systems.
Here is everything you need to know about WannaCry Ransonware attack which is also called like atom bomb of cyber crimes.
1. How WannaCry Ransonware works
This time the hackers have used “Wanna Decryptor” which incyupt data and locks the user out of the system. To get the data back or get the data decrypted, the victim have to pay around USD 300 in Bit Coins. WannaCry Ransonware was circulated through an ordinary phishing email showing a supposedly official source attached with infected file. It then attacked through a worm which rapidly spread all computers within the same network.
WannaCry Ransonware keeps deleting the data in intervals untill the said amount is paid. The encryption enables ransomware to go undetected by security software untill some employee opens it which is actually too late.
2. How the countries are affected
Around 150 countries across the world are severely affected by WannaCry Ransonware. In UK 36 hospitals were completely blocked from their computers and other networking devices. They were threatened about complete wipe out of their patients data until they fulfill the hacker’s demands. Indian police department is also very affected by WannaCry Ransonware and in Andhra Pradesh state around 100 systems are infected.
Russian have claimed to have more than 1000 computers affected by WannaCry Ransonware. However, experts believe that the affected devices in Russia might be in thousands and they are hiding the actual number of infected computers.
3. Microsoft’s Reaction
In a highly unusual move today, Microsoft have released a patch for Windows XP which was discontinued 3 years before by Microsoft. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer, said through a statement that US government should take the responsibility for mishappening as they didn’t informed Microsoft about this vulnerability beforehand. He further added that due to such vulnerabilities in past govt docs were shared in WikiLeaks and now this time a cyber weapon is stolen by hackers.
4. How to secure yourself from WannaCry Ransonware
To secure yourself from WannaCry Ransonware, make sure that your Windows OS is up-to-date. Even Windows XP users need to check and get the latest update released by Microsoft. The latest Windows comes with an inbuilt antivirus software, Windows Defender. You should also avoid clicking links or downloading any email attachments from unknown senders. Also you can block pop-ups and advertisements on suspicious looking websites.
If your computer is already infected by WannaCry Ransonware, you can try downloading antivirus software on any uninfected computer or laptop and then transfer it to your infected computer through a CD-Rom or a USB drive. You should backup all your important data to an external hard drive.