May 26, 2017

Things You Need to Know About the WannaCry Ransomware

19 May 2017, 08:09 | Winifred Adams

It has been a frustrating month for all IT executives around the globe. Those cases were more contained, however. This attack, different from many known cyberattacks, hit everybody where it really hurts: data. The WannaCrypt ransomware infects devices and then restricts users' access to their files until a ransom is paid.

"Most of the Indian organisations are still vulnerable to the attacks since the sophistication of these cyber threats is going up and many of Indian organisations including private and public sector still use outdated operating systems which make it easy for the cyber attackers to compromise the systems", he added.

A global network of cyber-security experts are urging companies and organizations to update older Microsoft operating systems immediately to ensure they don't fall prey to a more powerful and future versions of the ransomware.

In some instances, adverts for pornographic website will repeatedly appear on your screen, while in others, a pop-up will state that a piece of your data will be destroyed if you don't pay. So IT managers were caught off guard. The best course of action is to contact an IT or Cyber Security professional to assist you in analyzing and minimizing the attack. Around 200,000 victims in 150 countries have been affected, according to European Union police force Europol, many of them businesses including major corporations such as Nissan, FedEx and Hitachi.

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Global malware Wannacry has so far infected more than 40,000 computers in India. On May 12, some NHS services had to turn away non-critical emergencies and some ambulances were diverted. According to Business Insider, about 7% of PCs are still running XP, and nearly half are running Windows 7 (which is also soon reaching that window where its support will end). No company - or hospital, or university, or individual - asks to be the victim of cybercrime, but there are also things companies can do to prevent the attacks from succeeding.

To complicate matters further, criminals who use ransomware often ask to be paid in Bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrencies so that payments by victims can not be traced by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

In China, the internet security company Qihoo360 issued a "red alert" saying that a large number of colleges and students in the country had been affected by the ransomware. The Turkish site was among those. However, most of the world's censure is directed at the NSA.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that criminals use to attack computer systems.

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