The Ransomware Meltdown Experts Warned About Is Here
A NEW STRAINof ransomware has spread quickly all over the world, causing crises in National Health Service hospitals and facilities around England, and gaining particular traction in Spain, where it hashobbledthe large telecom company Telefonica, the natural gas company Gas Natural, and the electrical company Iberdrola. You know how people always talk about the Big One? As far asransomware attacksgo, this looks a whole lot like it.
The ransomware strain WannaCry (also known as WanaCrypt0r and WCry) that caused Friday’s barrage appears to be a new variant of a type that first appeared in late March. This new version has only gained steam since its initial barrage, with tens of thousands of infections in74 countriesso far today as of publication time. Its reach extends beyond the UK and Spain, into Russia, Taiwan, France, Japan, and dozens more countries.
One reason WannaCry has proven so vicious? It seems to leverage a Windows vulnerability known as EternalBlue that allegedly originated with the NSA. The exploit was dumped into the wild last month in atroveof alleged NSA tools by the Shadow Brokers hacking group. Microsoft released apatchfor the exploit, known as MS17-010, in March, but clearly many organizations haven’t caught up.