The WannaCry Attack – What Happened?


 

On Friday May 12th 2017, the world awoke to news of a new ransomware that was attacking computers throughout Europe and Asia, quickly making its way globally. The malicious program, named WannaCry, has infected hundreds of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries, making it one of the most destructive cyberattacks in history.


The speed at which WannaCry has spread and the severity of this type of malware illustrates the vital need for all companies to employ the right data recovery services to protect critical data. With the right data backup services, even if your company network is attacked, valuable data will be protected.


What Is WannaCry?

WannaCry is a ransomware program that was used to attack unprotected computers throughout the world. It was originally discovered as it began ransoming several hospital computer networks in Europe, bringing operations to a standstill until data recovery services could be utilized to resume control of these healthcare systems. The malware has been described by some as an SMB worm and has since spread to other businesses and private users throughout Europe, much of Asia, and the rest of the world.


Although the initial ransomware was controlled after the first day, new variants have popped up, continuing to spread the program to nearly 4,000 computers per day. Those without appropriate data backup services have been severely affected by the encryption of stored information.


How Did This Happen?

WannaCry exploits a certain vulnerability in older Windows operating systems which does not include Windows 10. This very serious potential problem was known only to the National Security Agency (NSA) until earlier this year. Upon learning of this vulnerability, Microsoft issued a patch MS17-010 on March 14, 2017 to fix the vulnerability and prevent just what happened with WannaCry. The systems that have been affected did not know of or did not apply the patch in time.


Why Is WannaCry So Dangerous?

Data recovery services know that ransomware is quite dangerous to computers and to your business as a whole because of how data is encrypted so that it becomes irretrievable. Yet the WannaCry program has been found to be even more dangerous than most ransomware because it spreads on its own, without any other interaction. If your computer is not properly protected, this file can with with worm-like capabilities and embed itself without you ever having to open an infected email or visiting an infected website.


Once the program is on your computer, it can spread in this same way to any other computers on your network, ransoming them all very quickly. The only way to resolve the issue correctly, since there is no guarantee that paying the ransom is effective, is to work with data backup services to move beyond the ransom demand, apply the supplied patch, and restore your information from a backup.


What Should You Do About WannaCry?

The WannaCry ransomware attack highlights the need to protect your company in a number of ways, including having the right data recovery services. It also stresses the importance of both having the right security strategy in place as well as keeping all computers on your network properly updated with patches and new software releases. Cybersecurity strategies that include essential data backup services enable you to restore lost information and regain control of your computers in the safest and quickest manner.


Hopefully, you not been affected by WannaCry or any other ransomware attacks because your computers are well protected with the right firewalls, malware detection software, and other security strategies. Even so, new cyber threats like WannaCry are appearing every day and creating new risks for even the best-protected networks.


If you want peace of mind knowing that your network is safe, talk about cybersecurity and data backup services with an experienced provider like ACP. Our goal is to help you prevent attacks that can negatively affect your business by providing the security and data recovery services you need. For concerns about WannaCry, let ACP Technologies scan your network and provide a report of computers affected by this and any other viruses!