After Friday's major cyber-attack hit businesses and individuals worldwide, here is all you need to know.
What we know so far?
A ransomware attack has affected more than 200,000 victims across 150 countries. The virus took control of users’ files and demanded the payment of bitcoins, The UK and Russia were among the worst-hit countries with the 48 NHS trusts reported problems at hospitals, GP surgeries or Pharmacies.
As on 10:30am on Monday morning only 7 hospitals are still experiencing problems.
How has this happened?
The ransomware strain WannaCry has exploited a Microsoft Windows vulnerability, the software known as EnternalBlue which is a tool helped to create the attack which was stolen or leaked from the NSA by a hacking group in April. Microsoft released a security patch in March to patch the vulnerable issue however many corporations don’t automatically update their systems.
Are personal computers at risk?
Anyone who runs Windows on their personal Computers/laptops and HASN’T run the latest update is at risk. Microsoft said it has taken the ‘Unusual step’ of releasing a patch for older operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows 2003. This means anybody who runs these should update them.
Who is behind the attack?
The hackers have remained anonymous, they have demanded payment of 300 bitcoins for the return of information. The attack wasn’t specifically targeted at the NHS and has hit a variety of businesses and personal computers around the world, their motives are unknown.
What happens next?
If you haven’t been affected, then make sure you update your windows PC as soon as possible. If you have been affected, then unless you have a back-up of your files your only choice is to pay the bitcoin being demanded. Experts are considering ways of finding a weakness in WannaCry that allows them to decode the ransomware without paying but they have had no luck yet.