There’s not much to joke about when it comes to getting your personal information stolen by a powerful ransom virus – especially when it has the ability to shut down an entire hospital.
WannaCry, also known as WannaCrypt or WannaCryptor, is the world’s biggest ransomware attack yet, using encryption to inhibit high-earning hospitals, banks, and even government agencies from accessing important confidential information on their servers.
That is, until they pay a handsome amount of cash -$300 US dollars for each infected computer– in Bitcoins for the hackers to ‘decrypt’ their files.
Some hospitals such as Dharmais Hospital and Harapan Kita Hospital inJakarta, Indonesia were even unable to access their patients’ medical records, forcing them to postpone almost all of their planned medical procedures.
According to Channel NewsAsia, the attacks have hit over 200,000 computers across 150 countries since its first assault on May 17 2017 – and Mr Steve Goh, vice president of APJ at Acronis, states that WannaCry and similar ransomware viruses aren’t going to stop any time soon:
“Ransomware isn’t a passing fad, but one that will continue to evolve and grow aggressively. It is no longer a distant threat that only happens to ‘other people’.”
But with these e-invasions being so large-scale, surely ransomware hackers couldn’t care less about the innocent man on the street… right?
Wrong. “To the everyday consumer, most think that ransomware is something that happens to major enterprises and financial institutions. But these can severely impact their day-to-day lives too,” says Mr Goh.
Reports of end-consumers being hit by ransomware similar to WannaCry have already surfaced in nearby countries such as Taiwan.
So the next question would be: How do we, as citizens, defend ourselves against ransomware that even major enterprises are having trouble dealing with?
Here’s three important facts you need to know about WannaCry and similar ransomware, and what you can do to stay under their radars.
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