"The Ransomware virus is a virus that affects computer systems and locks up the files on your computer and encrypts them in a way that you can not access them anymore", said Harinder Singh Sekhon, in-charge, cyber cell.
This virus does not rely on user interaction to spread, in other words users do not have to open a suspicious email or download unknown files. There's usually a narrow deadline to pay and funds are often demanded via Bitcoin.
Kim calls WannaCry the world's first ransomworm-ransomware with the ability to self-propagate without user intervention or interaction.
A number of cyber-security companies consider the WannaCry onslaught the greatest online assault within more than a decade following the Conficker worm infection on innumerable PCs.
Should you ever pay the ransom? "The problem is that can be completely devastating for someone who doesn't have proper backup".
The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team sent out an alert on Friday warning about WannaCry, which exploits vulnerabilities in Server Message Block 1.0. However, many companies didn't install the patch. It's sometimes called WCry 2, as the hackers tried this back in February with similar software. The attack has been relatively light in the U.S.so far but could get worse. "They might not have meant to go this far".
What versions of Windows are affected?
"The fact that it started out in Europe served as an early warning system of sorts for USA organizations to ensure that they had time for patches to be implemented", says Riggi.
Here's what the researcher did to help us all out. This is of particular importance in ransomware attacks. If it couldn't find the webpage, it carried on with the attack. This malware was used to launch the WannaCry ransomware attack on May 12.
"We don't want to be alarmists because if you tell people that the sky is falling every day, pretty soon they won't care that the sky is falling". However, the latest version has one advantage: it infects other computers using an existing vulnerability in Windows' SMB portal. Hackers will sometimes encourage you to keep your computer on and linked to the network, but don't be fooled.
Finally, do not forget to back up your important files regularly. "Even without having an antivirus", they said.
However, Harnish predicts that healthcare will continue to see an increase in the different types of cyber threats, not just ransomware.
"Merely shutting down ATMs might be a good interim measure but in a long term measure the government should come up with capacity building programmes that inculcates cyber security as a way of life among Indian population and inculcates cyber law education as part of school curriculum", he added. That will all protect against ransomware and much more. Infections are also reported from South Korea, Indonesia and Japan.
Microsoft released a security update to patch the vulnerability on March 14, a month before the theft of exploits from the NSA was publicly reported, Smith said. Do that immediately, and restart your computer, Wheeler said. There you can easily check for updates. Under "Control Panel", head to "System and Security", and click "Windows Firewall". As previously mentioned, this attack is particularly risky because it's also a worm, which means that once it gets into a computer it starts connecting to other systems to spread as much as possible.
Don't stop with yourself.