A virulent new strain of ransomware known as WannaCry (Ransom.Wannacry) has hit hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide since its emergence on Friday, May 12. WannaCry is far more dangerous than other common ransomware types because of its ability to spread itself across an organization’s network by exploiting critical vulnerabilities in Windows computers, which were patched by Microsoft in March 2017 (MS17-010).

The exploit, known as “Eternal Blue,” was released online in April in the latest of a series of leaks by a group known as the Shadow Brokers, who claimed that it had stolen the data from the Equation cyber espionage group.

 

What is a Ransomware?

Ransomware is a kind of cyber-attack that involves hackers taking control of a computer system and blocking access to it until a ransom is paid.WannaCry searches for and encrypts 176 different file types and appends .WCRY to the end of the file name. It asks users to pay a US$300 ransom in bitcoins. The ransom note indicates that the payment amount will be doubled after three days. If payment is not made after seven days it claims the encrypted files will be deleted.

Who is the victim?

Any unpatched Windows computer is potentially susceptible to WannaCry. Organizations are particularly at risk because of its ability to spread across networks and a number of organizations globally have been affected, the majority of which are in Europe. However individuals can also be affected.

Although Middle East is least affected by this ransomware until now, researchers have warned that new version of WannaCry will be more destructive.

How I can be protected?

The best protection against ransomware attacks is to have all files backed up in a completely separate system. This means that if you suffer an attack you won't lost any information to the hackers.

It is difficult to prevent determined hackers from launching a ransomware attack, but exercising caution can help. Cyber attackers need to download the malicious software onto a computer and other connected device. The most common ways of installing the virus are through compromised emails and websites.

How e-Sealed can help?

e-Sealed security is determined to provide security services to all kinds of organizations as well as individuals. A nominal fee of SAR 100 is charged by e-sealed to scan your PC or laptop for weaknesses that can cause WannaCry to hack you. In addition other vulnerabilities will also be identified and reported. We will also fix the vulnerabilities so that you stay protected and secure. This service is available for all the residents of GCC. 

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