What is WannaCry? What does WannaCry ransomware do?

Isaac Cain
May 19, 2017

It's high time that health services take protective measures, inlcuding updating the systems with the latest versions as well as imparting the right training and tools to workers to mitigate this vulnerability or overcome such attacks in the future.

It's not just home users who are affected, as the attacks have targeted hospitals and businesses as well. Unfortunately once programmes like WannaCry encrypt user data, it is extraordinarily hard to retrieve without either paying the ransom or restoring the files from a backup, leaving preparation and prevention essential in the absence of a reliable cure.

The company on Friday said it had added additional protection against the specific malware, and was working with affected customers. And it also attacks everyone from China to Apple for not bidding in its auction earlier this year: "The Five Eyes, Russia, China, Iran, Korea, Japan, Israel, Saudi, the UN, NATO, no government or countries didn't bid in auction".

According to Microsoft's blog, older versions of Windows that are no longer supported by Microsoft were vulnerable, which includes Windows 8 and Windows XP, which the majority of NHS Trusts were running. In India, a total of 2.2 lakh ATMs run on Windows XP which many old ones run. Among the notable claims, he said, was that it had newer exploits for Microsoft's Window 10 operating system dating from after 2013.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that will block access to your files unless you pay a ransom. Hypothetically, assuming each victim paid $300 to unlock their device, it would result in a total ransom of around $90 million.

Microsoft released security patches for the ransomware on Friday.

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"Concerted efforts to tackle cyber crimes have been hindered by the actions of the United States", it said, adding that Washington had "no credible evidence" to support bans on Chinese tech firms in the USA following the attack. In Andhra Pradesh, to follow the advisory by the CERT-In a few systems of the Police Department impacted.

The hackers were found to inject the virus using a worm application called "WannaCry" that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers.

The six steps companies can take immediately range from common sense solutions to complex crisis planning, but the list begins with disconnecting infected machines from the network removing all backups offline to prevent them from being encrypted.

Major companies including telecommunications company Telefonica have infected in Spain.

"The Transmission Control Protocol port 445 of Windows system, which is widely acknowledged unsafe, is closed on many computers".

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