Viruses: What’s the Difference? Boeing was able to stop the attack and bring the affected systems back quickly. WannaCry is a ransomware worm that spread rapidly through across a number of computer networks in May of 2017. Microsoft itself had discovered the vulnerability a month prior and had released a patch, but many systems remained vulnerable, and WannaCry, which used EternalBlue to infect computers, began spreading rapidly on May 12. In the past, this type of attack was typically initiated through the user clicking on a malicious ad or link. Even the most internet-savvy users have occasionally clicked on something by accident or fallen for a clever phishing scam. Once launched, WannaCry tries to access a hard-coded URL (the so-called kill switch); if it can't, it proceeds to search for and encrypt files in a slew of important formats, ranging from Microsoft Office files to MP3s and MKVs, leaving them inaccessible to the user. Looking for products for a specific platform? The Essential Guide to Phishing: How it Works and How to Defend Against it, How to Remove Viruses from an Android Phone, Rootkits Defined: What They Do, How They Work, and How to Remove Them, What is Spam: The Essential Guide to Detecting and Preventing Spam. While those monitoring the bitcoin wallets identified in the extortion message say that some people are paying the ransom, there's little evidence that they're regaining access to their files. Download free Avast Security to fight ransomware and other threats. WannaCry also leveraged an NSA backdoor called DoublePulsar to install WannaCry on the network. Josh Fruhlinger is a writer and editor who lives in Los Angeles. What is Adware and How Can You Prevent it? Get it for WannaCry remains one of the most well-known strains of ransomware out there. Get it for In March 2018, Boeing was hit but was able to contain the damage quickly. WannaCry created and distributed a ransomware worm that infected over 250,000 systems globally. Webcam Security: How to Stop Your Camera from Being Hacked. Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc. This ransomware attack spread through computers operating Microsoft Windows. WannaCry Ransomware Attack Allegedly developed by the North Korean Lazarus Group, WannaCry combined exploit code stolen from the US government with custom code to create a ransomware worm. Welcome to WannaCry, in which hackers lock up your files and demand payment in order to decrypt them. If it can access that domain, WannaCry shuts itself down. Not every strain of ransomware is able to be cracked, however. After the initial dust settled, various security researchers began working to try to figure out the origins of WannaCry. What is a Sniffer, and How Can I Protect Against Sniffing? Removing WannaCry. Removing the malicious code that locks up your files will not actually decrypt those files. WannaCry has not been completely eradicated, despite the kill switch that managed to halt the May 2017 attack. There’s no guarantee that you’ll actually receive a decryption code if you pay (remember, these are criminals we’re dealing with). Android, A number of factors made the initial spread of WannaCry particularly noteworthy: it struck a number of important and high-profile systems, including many in Britain's National Health Service; it exploited a Windows vulnerability that was suspected to have been first discovered by the United States National Security Agency; and it was tentatively linked by Symantec and other security researchers to the Lazarus Group, a cybercrime organization that may be connected to the North Korean government. iOS, “Ooops, your important files are encrypted.”. WannaCry relied on a Windows exploit that made millions of people vulnerable. The use of cryptocurrency, in conjunction with its wormlike behavior, earned WannaCry the distinction of a cryptoworm. Those components include: The program code is not obfuscated and was relatively easy for security pros to analyze. Download Avast Free Antivirus to fight ransomware and other threats.