Since Friday, a ransomware attack has targeted Windows operating systems around the world, despite an available security patch that can prevent the exploit. Three days into the global WannaCry malware attacks, here’s what you need to know:
- On Friday, hackers unleashed a piece of malware dubbed WannaCry, which has now infected upwards of 300,000 computers worldwide.
- As of Monday morning, the Department of Homeland Security says that a small number of US critical infrastructure systems have been affected, however, there’s been no significant disruption so far.
- NSA developed the WannaCry malware under the codename Eternal Blue that exploits a Microsoft Windows security bug.
- The WannaCry code was leaked last year by Shadow Brokers, a hacking group which boasted the theft of the classified NSA hacking tools.
- A hacking group modified NSA’s malware code, turned it into ransomware, and unleashed it against computers worldwide.
- Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts computer hard drives and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt a computer system.
- Since Friday, hackers have netted around $70,000 in paid ransoms.
- On Friday night, President Trump ordered the homeland security advisor to hold a meeting to assess the WannaCry threat, which has infected computers in at least 150 countries.
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