Last Friday’s massive WannaCry ransomware attack means victims around the world are facing a tough question: Should they pay the ransom?
Those who do shouldn’t expect a quick response — or any response at all. Even after payment, the ransomware doesn’t automatically release your computer and decrypt your files, according to security researchers.
Instead, victims have to wait and hope WannaCry’s developers will remotely free the hostage computer over the internet. It’s a process that’s entirely manual and contains a serious flaw: The hackers have no way to prove who paid off the ransom.
“The odds of getting back their files decrypted is very small,” said Vikram Thakur, technical director at security firm Symantec. “It’s better for [the victims] to save their money and rebuild the affected computers.”