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The WannaCry Ransomware Attack

Computer virus can be compared to a flu virus. It has a host that is able to replicate and infect other hosts. Computer virus, in technical terms, is a kind of malicious software that infects a computer system. One can acquire a computer virus if the users, knowingly or unknowingly, download a virus-infected file. Computer virus can spread by just opening an e-mail or visiting virus-infected websites.

Last May 2017, some parts of Europe, Japan, and China have been infected by the so-called WannaCry Ransomware. WannaCry is a type of ransomware virus. A ransomware is a type of hacking virus. The attackers will get all the computer data of a certain person or institution and will only release them if the victim pays some ransom money. The WannaCry ransomware is also known as WannaCryptor 2.0, WannaCry, and WCry, Wanna Decryptor 2, Wanna Decryptor 2.0.

The WannaCry ransomware was able to hit more than 300,000 computers. The National Health Service or the NHS and Telefonica in Britain has been the most affected. Some of the hospitals and doctors were forced to cancel all their appointments after they were infected by the ransomware. The attackers demanded a payment of $300 to $600.

Other countries were also affected. The operations of some Russian banks has been affected and compromised. In Jakarta, Indonesia, the attack caused some delays in the operation of two hospitals. In China, more than 29,000 were infected. In Japan, in over 600 locations, there were 2000 computers infected by the WannaCry virus. These include some large manufacturers like Hitachi.

Subsequently, the authorities were able to detect the group behind the attack. They are called the Shadow Brokers. It is believed that they are the same cyber group who stole the digital weapons from the National Security Agency in Maryland, USA.

With the help of an IT expert, the authorities were able to stop the ransomware from spreading. The 22-year-old self-taught cyber genius, Marcus Hutchins, accidentally triggered a kill switch that caused the WannaCry ransomware to stop spreading in just a few hours.

According to Hutchins, he was just doing his job when he stopped the ransomware from spreading. Hutchins is now working with the National Cyber Security Centre in United Kingdom to prevent another ransomware virus from spreading.

With this ransomware attack, the authorities are advising the affected people to not pay the ransom. There is no guarantee that all data will be retrieved after paying the ransom. If your computer has been infected with this kind of virus, call some IT experts immediately and let them solve the case.

Banner photo by User: Roke. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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