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What we currently know about the global cyberattack

19 May 2017, 10:37 | Marlene Myers

The cyber attack hit today

What is Wanna Decryptor the ransomware used in the NHS cyber attack

But the latest attack by the ransomware program WannaCry, which freezes the victim's computer and threatens to wipe out the data it contains, has been a high-profile demonstration that bitcoin has a dark side. Overall, despite the volatile trend, the fundamentals remain intact and so does the long-term positive outlook towards Bitcoins. Attackers have leverage over their victims by encrypting valuable files and leaving them inaccessible. This knowledge is often enough of a glimmer of hope for victims desperate to regain access to their data.

Unfortunately, ransomware is quickly growing in scope, and fast turning into a booming business for cybercriminals.

In another incident, a user paid as low as $0.43 after negotiating with the hackers. And that's only expected to get worse this year.

With WannaCry plaguing systems across the globe for the past few days, it's about time that you learn what precautions to take to avoid falling prey to ransomware. The coins are created by users who "mine" them by lending computing power to verify other users' transactions.

NHS hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacies, FedEx and Spain's main telecoms provider Telefonica were among those targetted in the cyber assault, which is though to have affected 150 countries. Snapshots and replication can be vulnerable to time-delayed ransomware attacks. According to research by cybersecurity firm Trustlook, for example, over one in three victims of ransomware pay up. "What's interesting about this ransomware is that unless you had something like bitcoin - a way to profit from it without it being traced - this ransomware stuff would be hard to do".

WannaCry, however, has not been almost as successful - or at least not yet.

What is Wanna Decryptor the ransomware used in the NHS cyber attack
NHS services across England have been hit by the IT failure

The malware instructs people to pay up to £460 to one of three bitcoin addresses in order to retain their files, and also displays a countdown clock giving a deadline for the payments. At an exchange rate of $1,700, that adds up to about $68,000 in total gains for the attackers.

Bitcoin is banking without banks, most currencies are issued by a central authority which controls the money supply (like RBI), and bitcoin is a p2p system not governed by any central authority. He simply registered a website that was mentioned in the code of WannaCry, which disabled at least the initial version of the ransomware. The bitcoin system uses the block train technology across its accounting ledger, distributed across the global digital networks-this currency ledger is available to all who have computer access to the network.

Ransomware does not technically require bitcoin.

Unfortunately, with even blue-chip companies such as ArcelorMittal and Kering identifying ransomware as a risk in their annual reports, finding an alternative that works is neither easy nor cheap.

The WannaCry ransomware attack that affected more than 100,000 organizations in 150 countries last week thrust ransomware into the worldwide spotlight. The transactions are totally anonymous and non-refundable. But the inefficiency of the payment model makes Hickey wonder whether the hackers were really after money. There are also a finite number of bitcoins in the world, according to Bitcoin.org. This is why it's possible to trace exactly how much has been paid to WannaCry. The idea here is that a buyer shows up with an amount in cash, cash they had no trouble acquiring because their money isn't all tied up in bitcoin, and they hand this cash to the bitcoin seller. So far, F-Secure hasn't provided more details. The fact that any malware can nest itself into computers is a problem in itself.

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