WannaCry is the latest and one of the most notorious cyber-attacks has spread across the world in affecting possibly over 75000 computers across 99 Countries. WannaCry is a ransomware virus that was able to spread thanks to flaws and security gaps in older versions of Windows. A tool originally used by the NSA to hack into PCs before being made public by the Shadow Brokers group last month was used to distribute the virus. The attack since has been believed to be halted, by an anonymous specialist known only as MalwareTech.
What can Wannacry do?
This virus does not rely on user interaction to spread, in other words users do not have to open a suspicious email or download unknown files. Wannacry targeted and was able to affect computers running older versions of Windows which are no longer receiving security updates. The critical issues caused when the virus spread was that they also infected network drives and files across the network, requiring a sum of 300$ Bitcoins.
Microsoft Windows XP support has stopped 12 years after its release. Since the attack, Microsoft has released a highly unusual Windows XP update. This security patch was issued to help avoid spread of the Wannacry ransomware on the thousands of users still currently using this dated operating system.
“Seeing businesses and individuals affected by cyberattacks, such as the ones reported today, was painful,” explains Phillip Misner, a security group manager at Microsoft.