Doug Bedell — May 17, 2017, 8:05 am

Insight Into the ‘Wanna Cry’ Ransomware Attacks

SecurityInfoWatch takes us into the digital chaos produced by the “Wanna Cry” ransomeware attacks. The infection was spread via a massive email spam, exploiting a vulnerability in the Windows OS, which Microsoft released a security patch for in March. Computers and networks that did not install the patch to help protect their systems are at risk.

“Think about it,” says Rob Clyde, Board Director for ISACA, an international IT governance association. “Earlier, even a simple computer crime involved two steps to get to monetization. First, the criminals have to break-in and steal personal information like credit card details and then secondly, sell it on the dark web, often to organized crime groups, in order to get paid. The buyers, in turn, use the credit card or other information to commit fraudulent transactions,” Clyde explains.

“With ransomware, crime has become an easy one-step monetization process. They break into a computer system, install ransomware and get the payment directly from the person or organization impacted. It’s a one-to-one interaction and payment is easily received. So from a cyber criminal’s perspective, ransomware has become a superior way of monetization.”

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