Frank Abagnale, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, says that ransomware is a famous type of malicious software that threatens victims and blocks their access to the computer devices until they pay a ransom. Such attacks are carried out with the help of Trojans that most users download to their systems considering them authentic and legitimate items. In recent months, malicious software has affected a large number of computer systems the world over. Software security firms claim that ransomware worms named as WannaCry have infected more than 140,000 computer devices in over two hundred countries, with Ukraine, Taiwan, and Russia being the top targets. A couple of British hospitals turned off their computer systems, and some Spanish firms such as Telefonica, as well as some government organizations and businesses were affected in a significant number. Experts from Kaspersky Lab and Symantec claim that old codes in the WannaCry versions appeared in the Lazarus Group programs in a large number. These codes contained viruses and infected a large number of North Korean devices. WannaCry has affected lots of smartphone and computer systems so far, Kaspersky Lab expert Kurt Baumgartner said in an interview with Reuters.
WannaCry is one of the primary forms of ransomware that can lock up your computer files. It then encrypts your data permanently, and you lose your access to your device until a ransom is paid. This ransomware mainly targets Microsoft users and those who are using Windows and Linux. When your system gets affected with WannaCry, you will see pop-up windows in a significant number. The hackers give instructions of how to pay a ransom for these windows, and the ransom is up to $3000 per device. These pop-ups also feature several countdowns: one of them shows a four-day deadline before the payment is doubled, while the other shows a time limit of thirty days otherwise you will lose your data forever. The hackers accept payments only through Bitcoin and PayPal. A famous hacking group, Shadow Brokers, recently released this malware and attacked NASA’s sensitive security system.
How it spreads?
Most often, ransomware enters your computer either through downloading infected files or clicking unknown or unfamiliar links. Some of the security experts claim that infections like WannaCry spread in the form of worms; within a few days, they infect your computer device and infect all of its attachments. Such programs also encrypt your data, and the hackers demand payments before letting you regain access.
Where has it spread?
Researchers from Taiwan, Ukraine, and Russia have been the top targets for the attackers, but numerous other countries also reported infectious systems.
James Scott of the Critical Infrastructure Technology stated that ransomware was first spread in 2016, and it infected a large number of computers in the hospitals.
Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center reports that you should install and download only latest versions of antivirus software. It is also important that you don’t click on the unknown links and don’t open the email attachments that have come from people you don’t know. People should turn their antivirus software on while browsing the internet, and turn off the pop-up adds so that they stay safe round the clock. You should also backup your files on a regular basis to prevent infections.