What is WannaCry? What does WannaCry ransomware do?

Caption NHS hospital systems were crippled on Friday after they they became a victim of the global ransomware attack

Caption NHS hospital systems were crippled on Friday after they they became a victim of the global ransomware attack

An analysis by The Register revealed that the patches weren't new, though, and had been around since February 2017. On a larger scale, in early May a sophisticated phishing attack targeting Gmail users was passed from user to user like a nasty case of flu.

As a new cyber attack continues to sweep across the globe, the company is once again at the center of the debate over who is to blame for a vicious strain of malware demanding ransom from victims in exchange for the unlocking of their digital files. "Unfortunately, most people don't have them", Abrams says.

British technology experts worked through the night to patch the computer systems of the health service after the ransomware worm forced dozens of hospitals to cancel some operations and appointments, Security Minister Ben Wallace said on Monday.

Some business owners and managers may be disheartened by repeated high-profile attacks like the recent outbreak of ransomware. Most importantly, take back-ups. In many cases backups should also be encrypted, in case they fall into the wrong hands.

However, NHS Digital said only 4.7% of the NHS is now using Windows XP, with the figure decreasing, and a spokesperson told BJ-HC today that no evidence has been found as of yet that patient data was compromised in the cyber attack.

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The company reacted to the attacks with a blog post that is worded strongly, thereby criticizing governments for information about vulnerabilities about cybersecurity as stockpiling and likening the WannaCry attack as some Tomahawk missiles got stolen. It took advantage of a vulnerability in a part of the Windows operating system known as Server Message Block-the same vulnerability that had been previously exploited by the United States National Security Agency and that was made public by an unknown group known as The Shadow Brokers. The malware primarily targeted users of Windows XP, which was launched by Microsoft in 2001.

An attack is typically distributed by relying on social engineering to impregnate the victim's computer with the malicious software, often described as a virus. It seems that attacks are getting more unsafe and sophisticated and there's never any guarantee that paying the required ransom will actually restore access to the files.

In mid-march, Microsoft distributed a security update after it detected the security flaw in its XP operating system that enabled the so-called WannaCry ransomware to infiltrate and freeze computers last week. "We can surely expect more". Typically the virus also scrambles the file names, so you can't know which data was affected.

As technology advances, organizations should keep in mind to account for human fallibility.

For those running Windows 10 or Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 systems, which has automatic updates turned on, you'll remain protected from WannaCry.

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