With our lives being managed by technology, our dependence on phones and computers has increased to a fearful extent.
Because of one’s involvement with gadgets, cell phons, and computers have become like phantom limbs that are missed when we are not using them. Now imagine that these gadgets that your life and entire schedule depend on get infected by someone who gains unauthorized access to your whole existence. They will know where you are, what you are doing, and what files you have on your gadgets.
Malware is the kind of virus that can disrupt your digital life. Indeed, the whole purpose of a malware presence is to disrupt, destroy and gain unwarranted access to your gadgets. One such terrifying malware is the WannaCry Ransomware.
The WannaCry Ransomware Attack made headlines in May 2017 and is included in the list of the most significant ransomware attacks in history. But what is WannaCry Ransomware, and what happens when WannaCry Ransomware attacks?
What is WannaCry Ransomware?
Ransomware is specifically designed to block the user’s access from their computer until an exorbitant amount of money is paid to the hacker.
WannaCry Ransomware is one such malicious software used by cybercriminals to extort money. It is an excellent example of crypto-ransomware. Like a worm, this ransomware spreads quickly across computers and encrypts the files on your computer’s hard drive, making it impossible for you to access them. The hacker then demands a ransom payment to decrypt the files and give you access again.
WannaCry Ransomware uses crypto-ransomware to encrypt the data on a computer, and the attacker holds this data hostage. This hostage is only released when the ransom money has been paid in bitcoin currency.
How does WannaCry Ransomware work?
WannaCry Ransomware is relatively simple and works in a straightforward manner. The malware infects your computer through a program that extracts application components stored in itself.
WannaCry targets computers that use Microsoft Windows as their operating system and use the vulnerabilities in the operating system. WannaCry Ransomware can also be delivered via emails where the user is tricked into opening attachments and releasing them into their system.
The malware demands $300 in the form of Bitcoin currency once it locks the systems. It later doubles the extortion fee and brings it up to $600. It also threatens to delete all your data within days if the ransom is not paid.
WannaCry Ransomware Attack
The WannaCry Ransomware attack was a global cyber epidemic that struck in May 2017. The attack spread through computers using Microsoft Windows as their operating system.
Using EternalBlue, a Windows exploit created by the U.S National Security Agency, the WannaCry ransomware exploited the vulnerabilities in the operating systems of the Old Microsoft Windows, spreading across thousands of computers across one hundred and fifty countries.
Even though Microsoft successfully released a security patch to protect the operating systems against the EternalBlue exploit, companies and individuals who did not regularly install updates on their systems were exposed to the attack.
The WannaCry ransomware attack forced governments, hospitals, and large corporations to spend days fighting the malware in desperation to retrieve files. The ransomware struck many high-profile systems, including the Russian ministry, banks, German universities, Britain’s National Health Service, and the Indian State police.
The healthcare sector suffered the worst, with the NHS being forced to come to a complete standstill and schedule emergency appointments for patients at other facilities. Emergency patients were relocated, and the NHS canceled thousands of appointments.
The WannaCry ransomware attack caused billions of dollars. It was finally stopped when security researcher Mark Hutchins discovered the kill switch for this ransomware, bringing the chaos to a screeching halt.
The WannaCry Ransomware Attack – Reasons Behind its Success
One of the main reasons the WannaCry Ransomware attack was so successful is that outdated computers and operating systems were being used. Making computers vulnerable to malicious software. Because people did not have the correct information. They failed to understand the importance of regularly installing updates on their computers and became victims.
The WannaCry Ransomware Attack successfully created chaos by targeting thousands of computers at once. Which made it hard to catch and stop its spread. Unlike your other possessions, the technology in your gadgets requires regular updates and maintenance. Most people believe that if their device works just fine, there is no particular reason to update it.
That is not the case. The WannaCry Attack was a homerun because of years of outdated technology accumulated and a lack of importance placed on the security maintenance of operating systems.
How to Stay Safe from WannaCry Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware attacks have significantly increased in the last few years. And are a real threat to anyone using gadgets. Hackers know that users are more vulnerable because people use their phones and other devices to back up their entire life histories.
When it comes to WannaCry Ransomware, victims sometimes assume that paying up the ransom is a safe way to extract their data hostage. But that is not recommended. When the WannaCry Ransomware Attack hit around 150 countries. Many paid the ransom of $300 but were unsuccessful in getting their data back.
Entertaining ransom threats is not the solution to staying safe from a WannaCRy Ransomware Attack. Instead, you should follow some simple ransomware protection tips and techniques to keep you safe from ransomware attacks.
Only Use Trusted Websites
Visiting unknown websites and downloading attachments from them can be risky and make you vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Always use trusted websites where you are sure that files do not contain malicious software.
Update Your Operating Systems and Softwares Regularly
As mentioned above, users and companies who failed to download and install regular updates, are the primary victims of the WannaCry Ransomware attack. If they were proactive and downloaded the security patch created by Microsoft to fight EternalBlue. The worst of the damage wouldn’t have happened.
This in itself is a lesson for all to keep your software and operating systems updated regularly, Which avoids any malware content from infecting your system or accessing your files.
Refrain from Clicking on Suspicious Links
Do not click on unverified links that you have not seen before or that look suspicious. They are some of the easiest ways for hackers to infect your computer with ransomware.
Install Internet Security Software
Installing internet security software will help prevent ransomware attacks. It is the most productive method to be proactive in avoiding cyber attacks.
The WannaCry ransomware attack serves as a stark reminder of the always present threat of malware. And the importance of cyber and computer security.
This attack cause widespread damage and disruption, affecting individuals, businesses, and organizations around the world. While the immediate impact of WannaCry have subsided, the threat of similar attacks remains. It’s essential to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect your computer and data.
Regularly updating software, using antivirus software, and backing up important data. Are just a few of the steps you can take to safeguard against these types of threats. Ultimately, staying informed and educated about cybersecurity is key to protecting yourself and your computer in an increasingly digital world.