The WannaCry attack has been identified as the biggest ransomware outbreak in history. This is a cyber pandemic caused by a ransomware weapon of mass destruction.
In January, CyberheistNews predicted that 2017 would be the year where we would see a “ransomworm,” and, unfortunately, it is here.
The WannaCry ransomware is a new strain of ransomware that spreads itself automatically across all workstations in a network, causing a global epidemic. If you, your family, or a co-worker are not paying attention and accidentally open one of these phishing email attachments, you might infect not only your own workstation but immediately everyone else’s computer, too.
Be very careful when you get an email with an attachment you did not ask for. If there is a .zip file in the attachment, do not click on it but delete the whole email. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out!
Hundreds of thousands of computers have already been infected worldwide, including at FedEx, Renault, Nissan and Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica. Ironically the Russian Interior ministry had 1,000 computers encrypted, and even the German Railways were infected.
Dozens of hospitals in the U.K. were shut down. Cybersecurity experts have long used the phrase “where bits and bytes meet flesh and blood,” which signifies a cyberattack in which someone is physically harmed. This monster has infected hundreds of thousands of systems in more than 150 countries.
This is a bad one, and the cyber researchers are preparing for more of these types of attacks yet to come this year.
How Windows users are putting themselves at risk
According to NetMarketShare, nearly 90 percent of all desktop computers worldwide run a version of Windows operating system (OS). Of those, only 26 percent are running Windows 10. That means that the other 74 percent are running older versions, many of which are no longer supported with security updates.
Cybercriminals used a leaked NSA tool to exploit a Windows flaw dubbed EternalBlue to spread WannaCry ransomware. Microsoft knew of this flaw months ago and patched it with a security update in March.
Unfortunately, older versions of Windows, like Windows XP, do not receive security updates any longer and did not receive the patch.
That is why it is a bad idea to run one of these older versions of Windows if you plan on connecting your gadget to the internet. Without critical security updates, you are putting yourself at risk of being infected by the latest digital threats.
What you need to do now
If you are running a Windows operating system and plan on connecting your gadget to the internet, you must use an OS that Microsoft still supports with security updates. Most Windows machines are set to download and install updates automatically by default. If you have not changed your automatic update settings then you should be fine.
North Korea’s Unit 180, the cyber warfare cell
North Korea’s main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and internet security experts.
North Korea has been blamed in recent years for a series of online attacks, mostly on financial networks, in the United States, South Korea and over a dozen other countries.
Cyber security researchers have also said they have found technical evidence that could link North Korea with the global WannaCry “ransomware” attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries this month. Pyongyang has called the allegation “ridiculous.”
I will have more news on this cyber warware cell Unit 180 next week.