Source: E-HACKING NEWS
The most intense and audacious ransomware attack on last Friday 12th May 2017 gave the world a much needed major jolt.
MAY 15, 2017
Yes, it true. It happened. It’s no more sci-fi or just a hear say story. The day it happened and the following days experts were scrambling to determine who was behind the attack. The attack exploited a security flaw in older versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating software.
How it started?
In more than 156 countries, it was reported that computers have been hit by what experts are calling an unprecedented mass cyberattack using ransomware.
Beginning on Friday, using a security flaw in Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, an older version that was no longer given mainstream tech support by the US giant, Computers around the globe were hacked. Yes. Around the globe. You read that right.
Name of the ransomware? – WannaCry. Yes it did make a lot of people cry true to its name
So what did it to you ask? WannaCry locks access to user files and demands money — in the form of the virtual currency Bitcoin — in order for users to access them back again.
Now you’re asking how many countries did it affect and scale of impact?
As per Europol chief Rob Wainwright, more than 200,000 victims had been hit in more than 150 countries making it the LARGEST ransomware attack in the HISTORY. YES, HISTORY!
Victims include high profile organizations and companies such as hospitals in Britain, the Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, French carmaker Renault, US package delivery company FedEx, Russia’s interior ministry and the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn.
HOW THE SPREAD WENT VIRAL?
As per Experts, the ransomware programme appears to support dozens of languages, clearly indicating that the hackers wanted to corrupt networks worldwide.
The virus spread quickly since the culprits used a digital code believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency — and consequently leaked as part of a document dump, as per researchers at the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.
According to Wainwright, the attack appeared to be and most likely is unique, because it combines ransomware with a worm function, meaning once one machine is infected, the entire internal network is scanned and other vulnerable machines are infected. CRAZY, RIGHT?
Symantec, the US security firm, said the attack appeared to be indiscriminate.
Source: CNN MONEY
WHO DID ALL THIS MESS?
Completely UNKNOWN right now and so is there motivation. So far, the culprits are unknown, as is the motivation. Security agencies in affected countries were running all over the plac to find out.
As per experts, it is unlikely to have been one person, with criminally minded cyber crime syndicates nowadays going underground and using ever more sophisticated encryption to hide their activities.
SO HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR PCs ?
Microsoft, the tech giant directly affected, took the unusual step of reissuing security patches first made available in March for Windows XP and other older versions of its operating system.
As per Mr. Kaspersky, MS was seeking to develop a decryption tool “as soon as possible”.
In addition, Europol provides free decryption downloads for most ransomware already detected, though not yet for this particular attack.
WHAT WAS THE RANSOM ASKED IN ‘RANSOMWARE’?
The poor Victims were asked for payment of $300 (275 euros) in the virtual currency Bitcoin.
Furthermore, Payment is demanded within three days or the price is doubled, and if none is received within seven days, the files will be deleted, according to the screen message.
Given the attack’s massive widespread nature, even such a small sum would stack up quickly, though few victims seem to be paying up so far.
As per Experts, people were advised not to pay, as it would only encourage the attackers, there is no guarantee that they will unblock files, and may result in them gaining access to victims’ bank details.
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