On Friday, May 12th, 2017, a global ransomeware campaign called WannaCry began infecting computers in over 10,000 organizations and 200,000 individuals in over 150 countries.
What is Ransomeware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to your computer data and displays a message demanding payment to unlock it. Most ransomware encrypts a victim’s files and won’t allow access until you pay them the ransom. Once payment is made, you are given a decryption key so that you can regain access to your files.
An “accidental hero” from England temporarily halted the global attack by locating a nonsensical domain name hidden in the code that was not registered. The 22 year old registered the domain name and with the help of another security expert from Proofpoint, found and inadvertently activated the kill switch in the malicious software.
The hero prefers to stay anonymous because “we’re working against bad guys and they’re not going to be happy about this.”
This Attack is Not Over
But this attack is not over. Variants are beginning to emerge. The attackers realize how it was stopped, have changed the code and released it again.
Are you at risk?
If you have a Windows machine, it is recommended that you install a patch that Microsoft has released to block this specific attack.
More information about your vulnerability and of how to protect yourself can be found on this page at Microsoft.
Additional information about the attack and how to protect yourself may be found at Wordfence.com, our WordPress security system of choice.