Pirated Windows led to WannaCry's spread in China and Russia

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that will block access to your files unless you pay a ransom. "The first thing that they are not doing is checking what systems have been affected", Subhamangala, Cyber Security expert told ANI. While major computer virus attacks have happened in the past, majority have been directed towards particular companies or institutions and have not been on such a wide scale (Target stores, Yahoo mail, etc).

Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) under the Ministry of Information and Communications has urged organizations and companies nationwide to prevent possible attacks from WannaCry ransomware.

However, Bossert warned that following the patching advice from Microsoft and the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be a top priority to stop the spread of ransomware, which has hit a number of large-profile companies, including FedEx. Russian Federation and Britain were among the worst-hit countries by the attack. The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about U.S. $300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device.

Microsoft had released in March a patch to fix the flaw exploited this week, but many computers, particularly older systems or devices that hadn't been updated, remained vulnerable. It then demands certain amount as ransom from the user and displays a message requesting to payment to unlock it.

- The recent ransomware cyberattack targeted 300,000 computers in 150 countries.

A 22-year old British security researcher who goes by the Twitter name MalwareTech is credited with slowing the spread of the ransomware by discovering a "kill switch" in the software that could disable the malware.

According to Microsoft, computers affected by the so-called "ransomware" did not have security patches for various Windows versions installed or were running Windows XP, which the company no longer supports.

In case of any ransomware attack, report Action Fraud.

The leaks, and the global WannaCry virus attack, have renewed debate over how and when intelligence agencies should disclose vulnerabilities used in cyber spying programs to so that businesses and consumers can better defend themselves against attacks.

Experts are suspecting that the next wave of attacks will be subjected to the banking sector.

  • Zachary Reyes