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WannaCry: Hacker attack without simile

Friday night it became known through the media that at least 99 countries and 57,000 businesses were affected by a data attack. These include hospitals and Norwegian businesses.

The ransom virus known as «WannaCry» is spread to computers all over the world. The malicious program exploits known vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system, and encrypts the files on the hard disk so users can not access without paying a ransom to get them decrypted.

The computer virus Wanna Decryptor, who hit the world and Norway at full force on Friday, is probably driven by high-level criminals, says the National Security Authority according to NRK.

– The attacks have increased during the night. This is the biggest attack we have seen worldwide, said Hans Christian Pretorius, Head of Cyber ​​Security in NSM to NRK.

The attacks are typically performed by the company receiving an infected email. This spreads on and causes access to data or systems to become unavailable unless the ransom fee is paid.

The hackers have claimed $ 300 to decrypt the files they have taken control of. Security experts warn that it’s not certain that one gets back the content, even if you pay. The reason for this advice is both concern for the spreading of the malicious software, and that payment is not a guarantee of regaining control of own data. Paying the ransom is also a part of financing criminals. The decision is still in place at the individual business.

This type of attack has increased in recent years, and there are a variety of variants.

Among the worst affected are the healthcare in England and Scotland. According to the BBC, they have had to cancel surgery and appointments because health workers have not been given access to health information on their computers.

According to the NRK, Russian authorities and the French car manufacturer Renault both have been attacked.

AFP writes that Europopl, the EU’s anti-crime organization, has never seen a data attack at this level. According to IT security company Avast, Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan are the main goals.

How to protect yourself

To reduce the risk, you should install security updates quickly so that known vulnerabilities can not be exploited. To prevent attacks from WannaCry, you must update as quickly as possible with the latest security updates from Microsoft. Microsoft regularly issues updates.

Do not click on links or open attachments from suspicious emails sent from someone you do not trust.

Spread can be restricted by end users not having administrator privileges, unauthorized software is blocked from execution and software running with the latest versions.

The experts recommends that you have a plan for what to do if you are attacked. Make sure you have a backup of your data so that you can recover the system if you were affected. You can back up by storing files on an external hard drive or using services from companies that offer online backup.

It is recommended to use strong passwords that not are used in multiple sites.