The WannaCry Ransomware explained

date: 18 May 2017
reading time: 2 min

It was hard not to hear about the WannaCry Ransomware in the last few days. Yet, there are still people who may not know what it is. So, what exactly is the WannaCry virus?

The WannaCry ransomware is basically a virus that encrypts your files. It is triggered by opening phishing e-mails, through clicking a given link, the virus then installs and spreads. Once your files get encrypted, they become useless, unless you pay a ransom in Bitcoins.

Why? Because you probably forgot to update your system.

Hackers took advantage of a flaw in the Microsoft Windows operating systems. The vulnerability that allowed the WannaCry to spread throughout the network, was identified and fixed two months before the attack. However, devices running outdated or unsupported versions of Windows were still exposed.

Since its detection on the 12th of May 2017, it has infected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries and the numbers are still growing.

How not to get affected by the WannaCry virus?

The best advice we can propose here are:

  1. update your system immediately – the latest versions offer the WannaCry patches that will keep your system secure
  2. think twice before opening oddly-looking e-mails – phishing techniques have become craftier recently, so always check the sender’s e-mail address, and if it looks suspicious, do not open it.
  3. install anti-virus software – seems simple yet is extremally effective and protects you from various types of viruses and malware.
    IT security is crucial these days
  4. back-up your work, as often as you can, to be able to quickly restore it in cases like this one

It is safe to say, that we physically can’t stop the viruses from appearing and spreading. They will be keep on coming. This is the reason why, following the tips above will give you an edge in similar cases, as well as the feeling of security.

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