A global cyber attack has been underway since last Friday, affecting more than 200,000 organisations in 150 countries. In India too, many organisations including Government Departments are facing the Ransomeware effect. In fact, RBI has told that white label ATM expansion stopped due to this cyber threat.
The “WannaCry” ransomware appears to have used a bug/weakness/flaw in Microsoft’s software, discovered by the National Security Agency and leaked by hackers, to spread rapidly across networks locking away files.
A security expert managed to stop the attack by triggering a “kill switch” on Saturday but it has continued to wreak havoc. (wreak havoc is an idiom used to describe something that is causes lot of trouble )
Ransomware, which demands payment after launching a cyber attack, has become a rising trend among hackers looking for a quick payout.
Let’s look at some important points to know about the Ransomware.
What is ransomware?
Malicious software that locks a device, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone and then demands a ransom to unlock it
Where did ransomware originate?
The first documented case appeared in 2005 in the United States, but quickly spread around the world
How does it affect a computer?
The software is normally contained within an attachment to an email that masquerades as something innocent. Once opened it encrypts the hard drive, making it impossible to access or retrieve anything stored on there – such as photographs, documents or music
How can you protect yourself?
Anti-virus software can protect your machine, although cybercriminals are constantly working on new ways to override such protection
How much are victims expected to pay?
The ransom demanded varies. Victims of a 2014 attack in the UK were charged £500. However, there’s no guarantee that paying will get your data back