WannaCry : Biggest Ransomware Attack

Image courtesy: Freepik

What we know so far….

As of now, hackers have encrypted files on 200,000 computers worldwide and in return are asking for ransom in bitcoins equivalent to $300.

Despite the large scale of the attack, hackers were able to make $50,000 only.

Source —Anonymous Indonesia Twitter

The ransom amount is expected to get doubled from $300 to $600.

It all started on Friday, when a virus known as WannaCry infected machines in around 150 countries.

WannaCry is known as ransomware which is a malicious piece of software that encrypts a person’s files on the computer and then demands money from that person to unlock the files.

In this case, the hackers asked for $300 worth of bitcoin as ransom.

The hackers said the fine would double to $600, and after seven days, the files would be locked for eternity.
Source — WSJ

The ransom payments are slow because of a reason

Many people don’t know how to obtain and pay in bitcoin.

Obtaining large amounts of bitcoin, setting up an account via a bitcoin and exchange involves a long onboarding process.

People are hesitant to pay also because there is no concrete evidence that paying the ransom to the cybercriminals will undoubtedly unlocks the files.

Generally most ransomware generate a unique ID and bitcoin wallet for each victim and thus know who to send the decryption keys to. WannaCry on the other hand, only asks you to pay the ransom and wait.

Can bitcoin be traced?

Hackers who deploy ransomware more often ask for payments in bitcoin as it is believed to be completely anonymous. But law enforcement agencies have figured out a way to trace bitcoin address back to people.

Bitcoin addresses are required to make payment to other people or organizations.

Microsoft’s XP and Vista operating systems are the most vulnerable to the ransomware attack.

If you want to stay safe and secure — do patch!

The WannaCry ransom looks like this -

Wana Decryptor 2.0

And you wallpaper will get changes to this -

WannaCry wallpaper

Keep yourself update with the latest news about the ransomware attack and spread the awareness to as many people as you can.