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The Ransomware Cyber attack on May 12 has hit as many as 200,000 victims in over 150 countries. The countries that were hit included India. Investigators are looking for those behind the hack that affected systems at banks, hospitals and government agencies globally.

The threat is escalating as cyber experts warned that another attack was imminent in coming days. Experts said the spread of the virus, WannaCry, which locked up more than 200,000 computers had slowed, but the respite might only be short because new versions of the worm are expected soon.

What you need to know about ransomware

What is ransomware?
If you are not familiar with the word ransom, it means the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money. Therefore, Ransomware is a type of malware that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to it until a ransom is paid to unlock it.

What is WannaCry?
WannaCry is a form of "ransomware" that locks up the files on your computer and encrypts them in a way that you cannot access them anymore.

How does it work?
Ransomware is a program that gets into your computer, either by clicking on the wrong thing or downloading the wrong thing, and then it holds something you need to ransom.

Why WannaCry is dangerous?
WannaCry is not just a ransomware program, it’s also a worm. This means that it gets into your computer and looks for other computers to try and spread itself as far and wide as possible.

What devices are most affected by this?
Computers running on Windows and MAC are susceptible to ransomware. Windows is arguably the most popular operating system out there. So, ransomware developers target PCs and MAC most of the time.

How to stay safe?
Ransomware programs are mostly spread via spam emails with attachments. Avoid clicking on unexpected .exe type files attached to unexpected emails or spam. Also delete the unexpected attachments with .zip, .doc, or .pdf file types because they could be ransomware .exe files in disguise. Try to keep your computer data backed up!

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May 18 at 11:42 AM


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