Starting Early Friday May 12, 2017, a massive ransomware campaign hit computer systems of hundreds of private companies and public organizations across the globe.
Like other nasty ransomware variants, WannaCry also blocks access to a computer or its files and demands money to unlock it. Once infected with the WannaCry ransomware, victims are asked to pay up to $300 in order to remove the infection from their PCs; otherwise, their PCs render unusable, and their files remain locked. Once a single computer in your organization is hit by the WannaCry ransomware, the worm looks for other vulnerable computers and infects them as well. The exploit has the capability to penetrate into machines running unpatched version of Windows XP through 2008 R2 by exploiting flaws in Microsoft Windows SMB Server. This is why WannaCry campaign is spreading at an astonishing pace.
In just a few hours, the ransomware targeted over 45,000 computers in 74 countries, including United States, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Philippines and Vietnam, and that the number was still growing, according to Kaspersky Labs. According to a report, the ransomware attack has shut down work at 16 hospitals across the UK after doctors got blocked from accessing patient files. Another report says, 85% of computers at the Spanish telecom firm, Telefonica, has been infected with this malware. Another independent security researcher, MalwareTech, reported that a large number of U.S. organizations (at least 1,600) have been hit by WannaCry, compared to 11,200 in Russia and 6,500 in China. "Power firmI Iberdrola and utility provider Gas Natural were also reported to have suffered from the outbreak." according to the BBC.