Ransomware Cyber Attacks Globally Including UAE WannaCry
WannaCry Ransomware Virus
WannaCry (or WannaCrypt, WanaCrypt0r 2.0, Wanna Decryptor) is a ransomware program targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system. On Friday, 12 May 2017, a large cyber-attack was launched using it, infecting more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries, demanding ransom payments in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in 28 languages. The attack has been described by Europol as unprecedented in scale.
What Exactly WannaCry Do?
RansomWare like WannaCry works by encrypting most or even all of the files on a user’s computer. Then, the software demands that a ransom be paid in order to have the files decrypted. In the case of WannaCry specifically, the software demands that the victim pays a ransom of $300 in bitcoins at the time of infection. If the user doesn’t pay the ransom without three days, the amount doubles to $600. After seven days without payment, WannaCry will delete all of the encrypted files and all data will be lost.
How was WannaCry created?
You can thank the NSA for discovering the “EternalBlue” exploit that would later be used by the WannaCry trojan, and then for keeping under wraps to use for its own intelligence gathering purposes. The security hole was then made public last month when a group of hackers called Shadow Brokers released the details of the exploit to the public.
How can I protect myself from WannaCry?
Regardless of which operating system you run, you should install any and all available security updates immediately. Specifically, 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.
What can I do if my computer is infected with WannaCry?
Sadly, there is no fix for WannaCry available at this time. Antivirus companies and cybersecurity experts are hard at work looking for ways to decrypt files on infected computers, but no means of third-party decryption are available right now. Hopefully affected users have backups of their data available, because the only other option right now is to follow the instructions offered in the software to pay the ransom.