Cyber security
May 23rd, 2017

Everything to Know About WannaCry, the Largest Cyber Attack in History

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Few days ago, the pandemic ‘WannaCry’ surfaced like anything. Studies show more than 45,000 attacks are made every single day which is quite a large number. Want to know what it is and how it started? Continue reading further and discover everything you must know.

What Actually Happened?

All of a sudden, several large organizations got infected by infection simultaneously. Yes, you got it right; it was nothing else but the ransomware, ‘WannaCry’. Infecting more than 200,000 computers, it became one of the biggest technological threats. Looking at the data, it was clear that maximum attacks were experienced in Russia; however, India, Ukraine and Taiwan also suffered serious damage. What’s more shocking is the fact that WannaCry hit 74 countries on its first day of attack.

What is WannaCry?

The first thing that must be known is that the ransomware has two parts:

  • An exploit with a goal to infect and propagate
  • An encryptor that’s downloaded on a computer after infecting it

Here, the thing that differentiates WannaCry from other encryptors is the first part. In order to infect a PC with a common encryptor, a mistake has to be done on the users’ part. For instance, clicking a suspicious link, allowing Word to run a harmful macro or downloading a doubtful attachment from an email. It is important to note that this ransomware has the ability to infect a system even when the user does nothing.

Who’s Most Vulnerable?

The most susceptible targets are Windows-powered PCs that do not have updated software. It has been found that the malware travels across corporate networks and spreads through file-sharing systems. Now, the worst thing is that corporate systems are usually controlled by IT department and it is them who decide when to send updates. Therefore, even if one PC is vulnerable, it will make every other system on the corporate network at risk; thus, making it easy for the malware to create a large impact. It is useful to know that this ransomware has nothing to do with Android, Mac and iPhone.

How to Defend Against WannaCry?

It is disappointing to know that there is no way out to decrypt files that have been encrypted by WannaCry. However, there are ways to prevent the infection and make the damage as less as possible:

  • Stay away from opening suspicious downloads and clicking unidentified links
  • Backup important files regularly
  • Keep the computer and applications up-to-date
  • Turn on Windows Firewall and set a new rule to 445 Port’
  • Install anti-ransomware on the PC
  • Patch SMB Vulnerability
  • Disable Server Message Block version 1 (SMBv1) protocol
  • Keep Your Knowledge Up-to-Date

How to Deal With an Infected PC?

Though there’s nothing much one can do but they must avoid paying any ransom, as there’s no guarantee of getting everything back that’s lost. Also, it would be good to disconnect from the internet as it will ensure no further damage or exfiltrating of data is done. Attempts are being made to come up with a fee ’fix’ to decrypt the files and remove the infection. However, there’s it’s not definite whether it would be possible or not to get back the lost files.

This is everything you must know about this malicious bug that has taken the world by storm. Be careful with your online activities and you will surely protect your computer from getting infected. Keep an eye on the latest updates to stay tuned about up-to-minute information. Last but certainly not the least, don’t panic as all you need is a bit more careful approach and nothing will affect your PC.

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