WannaCry ransomware attack that has become the largest ransomware attack in the history within just a few hours.
Massive WanaCrypt0r Ransomware Attack Hits More than 100 Countries Around The world
Dozens of countries have been hit with this cyberextortion attack that locks up computers and holds user’s files for ransom. Multiple companies, government agencies, and hospitals have become a target of this attack. Security firm Avast has recorded more than 75,000 detections of WanaCrypt0r 2.0 in more than 99 countries.
Well, the attack displays a message which instructs how to pay the ransom, explanation of the attack and a timer. Here’s the message:
More technical details can be found on Avast’s blog.
Once infected with the WannaCry ransomware, victims are asked to pay up to $300 in order to remove the infection from their PCs; otherwise, their PCs render unusable, and their files remain locked.
According to Avast security blog “The ransomware is mainly being targeted to Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan, but the ransomware has successfully infected major institutions, like hospitals across England and Spanish telecommunications company, Telefonica.”
Here’s the map that shows the countries being targeted by WanaCryptor:
Avast security blog says “We saw the first version of WanaCrypt0r in February and now the ransomware is available in 28 different languages, from languages like Bulgarian to Vietnamese.”
This malware is spreading by exploiting a vulnerability called EternalBlue. The scam might be spreading because of phishing emails with malicious attachments that infect users computers when they click on them. Well, the official government says that not to pay those criminals behind such attacks.
The Spanish computer emergency response organization (CCN-CERT) has even issued an alert that warns users of the “massive attack of ransomware” from WannaCry, saying (translated version):
“The ransomware, a version of WannaCry, infects the machine by encrypting all its files and, using a remote command execution vulnerability through SMB, is distributed to other Windows machines on the same network.”
Well, Avast security blog reported that good antivirus program can detect all known version of WanaCryptor 2.0. However, they also recommended users to fully update their system with the latest available patches.
How to Protect Yourself from WannaCry
First of all, if you haven’t patched your Windows machines and servers against EternalBlue exploit (MS17-010), do it right now.
To safeguard against such ransomware infection, you should always be suspicious of uninvited documents sent an email and should never click on links inside those documents unless verifying the source.
To always have a tight grip on all your important files and documents, keep a good backup routine in place that makes their copies to an external storage device that is not always connected to your PC.
Moreover, make sure that you run an active anti-virus security suite of tools on your system, and most importantly, always browse the Internet safely.
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