Two years ago today, a powerful ransomware began spreading across the world. WannaCry spread like wildfire, encrypting hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries in a matter of hours. It was the first time that ransomware, a malware that encrypts a user’s files and demands cryptocurrency in ransom to unlock them, had spread across the world in what looked like a coordinated cyberattack. Hospitals across the U.K. declared a “major incident” after they were knocked offline by the malware. Government systems, railway networks and private companies were also hit. Security researchers quickly realized the malware was spreading like a computer worm, across computers and over the network, using the Windows SMB protocol. Suspicion soon fell on a batch of highly classified hacking tools developed by the National Security Agency, which weeks earlier had been stolen and published online for anyone to use. “It’s real,” said Kevin Beaumont, a U.K.-based security researcher at the time. “The shit is going to hit the fan big style.” WannaCry relied on stolen NSA-developed exploits, DoublePulsar and EternalBlue, to hack into Windows PCs and spread through the network (Image: file photo) An unknown hacker group — later believed to be working for… Read full this story
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