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'WannaCry' ransomware spreads like wildfire, attacks 74 countries says McAfee

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By McAfee's   >>

TODAY (May 12, 2017), a ransomware attack has emerged that is worthy of tears.

WannaCry ransomware has hit the scene, spreading like wildfire across 74 countries and conducting more than 45,000 attacks, including a massive takedown of 16 UK NHS medical centres in just one day.

Other major countries impacted include Spain, Russia, Ukraine, India, China, Italy, and Egypt.

Now, how is this massive attack possible?

Our experts say the ransomware attack exploits the Server Message Block (SMB) critical vulnerability – also known as the Equation Group’s ETERNALBLUE exploit, part of the FuzzBunch toolkit released by Shadow Brokers a couple of weeks ago.

Basically, the attacker can use just one exploit to gain remote access into a system. Once access is gained, the cybercriminal then encrypts data with a file extension “.WCRY.” Not to mention, the decypter tool used can hit users in multiple countries at once, and translate its ransom note to the appropriate language for that country.

The ransom is said to demand $300 to decrypt the files.

The good news is, consumers don’t have to worry about this attack affecting their personal data, as it leverages a flaw within the way organizations’ networks allow devices to talk to each other.

However, this attack does act a reminder for consumers to prepare for a personal ransomware attack. In order to stay prepared and keep your personal data secure, follow these tips:

Back up your files. Always make sure your files are backed up. That way, if they become compromised in a ransomware attack, you can wipe your disk drive clean and restore the data from the backup.

Update your devices. There are a few lessons to take away from WannaCry, but making sure your operating system is up-to-date needs to be near the top of the list. The reason is simple: nearly every software update contains security improvements that help secure your computer and removes the means for ransomware variants to infect a device.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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