What is 'WanaCrypt0r 2.0' ransomware and why is it attacking the NHS?
A massive worldwide cyber attack has started today and has infected a number of high profile organisations around the world including the NHS national health service in the UK.
The attack is being being caused by a nasty type of malware called ransomware, which has found its way onto many computers around the world via email which spread through networks. The malware denies access to data and holds it to randsom until a fee has been paid via bitcoin.
WanaCrypt0r 2.0 has hit the NHS in the UK causing hospitals to divert emergency patients, Telefonica in Spain, as well as computers across Russia, the Ukraine and Taiwan, leading to computers and information being locked up and held for ransom.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that denies access to a computer or its data and demands a ransom (money to release it) Money is usually bit coin so it cannot be traced back.
How does ransomware work?
When a computer is infected with ransomware it conects to a server to activate, and then begins encrypting data from the infected computer and sends it to the server. Once all the files are encrypted, it displays a message on the computer asking for payment to decrypt the files – and threatens to delete the data if it is not paid. In most cases a timer is used to add the urgency.
It is also being called Wanna Decryptor 2.0, WCry 2, WannaCry 2 and Wanna Decryptor 2.
How much is the ransom they asking for?
WanaCrypt0r 2.0 is asking for 0.1 bitcoin (around $177) to unlock the contents of the computers.