Attack hits more than 74 countries including the US, UK, China, Russia and Spain
MAY 12, 2017
Ransomware utilizing a leaked NSA exploit is currently infecting countless computers across the globe.
The attack, known as “WannaCry,” encrypts Windows users’ computer files before demanding a $300 payment in Bitcoin. Although Microsoft issued a patch for the vulnerability in March, thousands of users have either failed to apply the update or are running outdated operating systems.
The ransomware is spreading at an alarming rate given its use of “EternalBlue,” a powerful NSA SMB exploit recently leaked online by the mysterious Shadow Brokers hacking group.WI
The attack has been reported thus far in 74 countries including the US, UK, China, Russia and Spain.
Screenshots of infected machines everywhere from universities to the Russian Interior Ministry were shared widely online Friday.
Other victims include as many as 16 NHS hospitals in the UK – many of which are still using Windows XP – as well as FedEx and multiple telecommunications companies across Europe.
Cybersecurity experts examining the hacker(s) Bitcoin wallets say they have already been paid “6 figures.”
Windows users are being urged to either upgrade their operating systems or to apply security patches immediately.
Cybersecurity companies are also attempting to create a decryption tool that would allow users to retrieve their files without being forced to pay the ransom.