One of the most dangerous malware attacks to have ever happened, occurred this past week called the WannaCry ransomware attack, putting major companies and institutions on the brink of losing their data. While it is still out there and becoming more powerful by the day, here are five facts to know about the now infamous ransomware scam.
1) It is easy to find ransomware and use it
The dark web is a dangerous place, especially for people with an agenda. There are numerous ransomware kits available through the dark web which can be bought and used to anyone’s advantage, if they know what they are doing. World-affecting extortionists might be able to find the attention of the authorities through minimal effort and maximum casualties, as is evidenced with the WannaCry spread of ransomware. This is also the largest cyber-attack ever made in history.
2) At least 200,000 computers have been affected by the attack
But that was before China announced that it too had been facing the same attack with 40,000 public and private organizations having been hit. The reach of the ransomware has covered almost all continents, affecting North and South America, Europe, India, South Pacific Asia, Some parts of Australia and New Zealand.
3) Who’s affected and how
Ransomware is ideally used against large organizations and can meet the large ransom that is usually demanded of hackers. The services industry is the most affected with 38% of ransomware attacks happening in the services industry, followed by manufacturing, public administration, finance and insurance and real estate as well as wholesale. These ransomwares can easily infect the systems through spam and phishing, which accounts for 46% of the leading causes. WannaCry, however, does not discriminate and has taken over not only general users’ computers, but also large-scale organizations as well.
4) There was a kill switch discovered for the WannaCry ransomware, but it has now been updated
A young cyber security researcher had accidentally found the kill switch of the ransomware by sheer luck and purchased an unregistered domain name for $10.69 in order to stop the attack. Now, the hackers have updated the ransomware to include no kill switch. The 22-year-old cyber security researcher has warned everyone to patch their systems before it’s too late to escape the attack.
5) WannaCry could have been developed from North Korea
Since most researchers say that the code used to develop the WannaCry ransomware virus is the same as the code used to develop the 2014 Sony security breach which was backed by North Korea, further investigations are being opened into the attack. The group behind the Sony attack was the Lazarus Group. The group has also infamously targeted South Korea, the US, Poland and Bangladesh.