May 17, 2017

WannaCry Ransomware Holds Worldwide Companies Hostage

Just last Friday, May 12, the Wannacry ransomware locked down over 200,000 computers worldwide. The ransomware made its way into computer systems in at least 150 countries through misleading e-mails containing download links. Once infected, files were no longer accessible unless the user paid a ransom of $300-$600.

Find out more about ransomware here.

The victims

Photo courtesy of Daily Express

Photo courtesy of AM 930 The Answer

The cyberattack affected the NHS (National Health Service) in Britain— one of the world’s largest health services. The outbreak locked down their entire system thus resulting in several appointments and surgeries being cancelled and patients turned away.

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Among those held hostage were prominent companies such as FedEx3 and Spain’s Telefónica. As for other countries victimized, Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan were the top targets.

Fortunately for the UAE, the impact of the malware cyber attack was minimal. Only one unprotected and outdated computer emerged as casualty. However, authorities and experts urge companies and other organizations to remain cautious and update the necessary security software on their Microsoft computers.

Photo courtesy of Entrepreneur

Reports point to the cybercrime gang “Shadow Brokers” as the one responsible for these attacks. They allegedly extorted a total of $26,000. Only a few ransoms were reported to have been paid, but cybersecurity professionals fear that the number of unsuspecting victims will still fall for the ‘phishing’ e-mails again.

Companies are currently recovering from this incident— updating their systems and creating plans to prevent the WannaCry disaster from ever happening again.