What is WannaCry ?

Wanna Cry, also known as WannaCrypt, WannaCryptor, and WannaDecryptor, is a type of ransomware. Ransomware is a malicious software that will seal your device (PC, tablet or mobile), infect your files and display a message demanding for ransom. The affected users are asked to pay the ransom amount via Bitcoin or similar payment modes. Following the payment, the files will be released, however,  failure to pay the amount will result in damage of data that can’t be repaired. On the other hand, paying the ransom doesn’t ensure retrieval of an encrypted data.

The mode of attack implemented by ransomware includes infecting targets through traditional methods. This comprises of phishing, identity theft, malicious emails, and dodgy attachments. Once the PC has been infected with the malware, the software code checks the system for additional targets through networks and infects the new found victims.

What does WannaCry ransomware do?

There are different kinds of ransomware that might affect your Windows OS but all of them will lock your PC and prevent you from using it normally. In order to restore it to a normal state, the malicious software will demand of something in the form of ransom.

The malware targets any users with Windows OS installed in their home computer or workplace and servers used by a government agency or healthcare department.

Ransomware can:

  • Encrypt files so you can’t access them.
  • Prevent you from accessing your Windows system.
  • Stops the running of certain apps like your web browser.

Windows OS affected by ransomware

Windows OS that are older and not updated are more vulnerable to be attacked by this particular malware. The following Windows operating systems are named to be more affected by ransomware:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2003

However, if you have installed the latest version of Windows or you are regular on updating your system, the PC is less likely to be infected by the WannaCry ransomware. Listed are a few of the OS that are less susceptible to get infected:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016

If the recent version of these listed Windows OS have not been updated in a timely manner, there are still high chances of being a target.

But, if your device runs on MacOS, ChromeOS or Linux or mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, you need not worry about this specific threat.

Note: The new tool named WanaKiwi is “able” to decrypt the data locked by ransom software, works on both Windows 2008, 7, XP and Vista, and has been proven effective by some security companies.