Ransomware and WannaCry: The Biggest Cyber-Attack in Recent History
Last Friday, the world saw one of the largest Ransomware attacks in history. Named "WannaCry," this cyber-attack hit over 200,000 organisations in over 100 countries and was successful against hospitals and telecommunications companies amongst many others. Sadly for the NHS, this led to operations being cancelled and patients being turned away from A&E.
End users who suffered from this attack were blackmailed into paying a 'ransom fee' or else their files would be deleted. At a time where Ransomware is at its' most prominent, it is worth gaining a knowledge and understanding of how to prevent it.
Ransomware: Fact File
What is ransomware? Malicious software that ‘holds a device to ransom,’ such as a computer, tablet or smartphone and then demands a ransom fee 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 disguises itself 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.