WannaCry Ransomware Spreads Quickly & Attacks Worldwide
One of the largest ransomware attacks of all time, WannaCry, has already infected more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries. This unprecedented attack, first identified late last week, is primarily targeting organizations as opposed to individuals. An initial ransom of $300 in bitcoin is demanded for the return of blocked files; however, the ransom goes up every few hours.
WannaCry like other ransomware variants is malicious software that locks or encrypts files on an infected computer or server and demands payments to restore them. Ransomware attacks have been significantly on the rise and this recent incident emphasizes the importance of layered security and cybersecurity awareness training.
WannaCry works by attacking a flaw in the Windows operating system that was originally exploited by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and later leaked by a group of hackers called the Shadow Brokers. Microsoft reportedly released an update in March to patch the existing vulnerability; however, many organizations have failed to keep systems up-to-date, allowing the virus to spread.
While it may be tempting to pay the ransom; most security professional advise against paying. Security professionals warn organizations that they are very unlikely to regain access to files even if demands have been met.
Check out Spam, Shams, and Other Scams to learn more about social engineering scams which impact credit unions, employees, and your members.
Because attackers often fail to restore access to blocked files even after a ransom has been paid, it’s critical that credit unions have a robust backup plan for all of their files.