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19 May 2017, 11:20 | Patty Hardy
Pixabay/TypographyimagesRansomware is a serious threat to home and business networks today following WannaCry's spread in more than 150 countries around the world.
Hospitals across Britain were crippled by the recent ransomware cyber-attack, making the country's National Health Service one of the most high-profile victims of the global incident. Estimates of the economic impact are still being tabulated, but they could easily run into the tens of billions of dollars.
A global cyber attack which hit the NHS in the United Kingdom and millions of other organisations and users worldwide last week has shown just how easy it is for hackers to cause havoc if digital security is not taken seriously. The organization's files will remain encrypted unless it pays ransomware in bitcoin ranging from $300 to $600.
Since the beginning of the attack, WannaCry has already caused massive disruption around the globe. The latest cyber attack is yet another testing time, but it has not stopped people from having some fun, especially the meme-makers.
What is unusual about this ransomware attempt is its scope, its immediacy, and its multi-pronged nature.
"Like last week's WannaCry campaign, this attack makes use of leaked NSA hacking tools and leverages a patched vulnerability in Microsoft Windows networking", Proofpoint concluded.
Microsoft, which released a patch for the vulnerability in March for current operating systems (but not until now, for older, now-unsupported systems such as Windows XP), publicly lambasted the NSA in a lengthy blog post from president and chief legal officer Brad Smith (http://bit.ly/2qkt9Zw).
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Ransomware is a malicious software that prevents affected users from accessing their devices (or part of it).
"It would have been better if [the fix for XP] had been released a month earlier, when the company first became aware of the problem". There were many reports came in that several hackers were lending their so-called help in unencrypted many user's system data, but with the exchange of currency, and as per many experts this is also called as extortion, through the virtual world. FedEx, one of the world's foremost worldwide shippers, was struck at the same time as telecommunications giants like Spain's Telefónica and Russia's MegaFon, and many more global behemoths will surely admit to ransomware infections in the days and weeks ahead. Businesses should determine the best time to apply these security updates to office computers without interrupting productivity, he added.
How much money is the WannaCry cyberattack costing businesses? Instead of betting everything on protection and defence, we should prepare for a scenario when the operating system is unavailable or critical data is not accessible from a computer.
Perhaps the most frightening statistic that Trend Micro found was that in one in five cases, even when the company paid the ransom, they were unable to recover their important files - indicating that the ransomware service is not quite as robust as it should be. That way, if a hacker locked down your computer, you could simply erase all the data from the machine and restore it from the backup. However, the malware seems to have also spread so fast due to a specially crafted worm that jumps from system to system in a network.
What we need is a change in attitude.
Like WannaCry, the program attacks via a flaw in Microsoft's Windows software.
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