What is WannaCry
Since Friday the 12th of May, there has been a lot of talk about cyber threats the world over. WannaCry, a ransomeware built on an exploit uncovered by the National Security Agency in the USA made a debut and has since raged and hijacked over 350,000 computers in over 150 countries. Victims include home and enterprise users such as banks, hospitals, telecommunications companies and government agencies. The malware exploits SMBv1 vulnerability in unpatched Windows operating systems to propagate itself across networks. It is this singular ability that has made its effect so far reaching and damaging.
The first strain of WannaCry that emerged on Friday was sink-holed by a 22-year old security analiyst who calls himself MalwareTech, who accidentally activated a killswitch that had been built into the ransomware. Activating the killswitch stopped WannaCry from self-propagating, giving us all a much needed breather for a moment. But that break although useful was short lived. New variants of WannaCry have since emerged, two of which have already been sink-holed successfully.
At the time of writing this report, another variant of WannaCry has been on the rage and is said to have infected 40,000 computers already.
What is a Ransomware
If you’re wondering what a ransomware is, don’t look too far. A ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to lock down computer systems by encrypting files; it then demands payment from the computer users before decrypting files to restore access. See how ransomware works in the video below.