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Encrypted Files Ransomware, What Wannacry Criminals Earn

Encrypted Files Ransomware

Loes Knetsch ©

The biggest cyberattack of all time hit over 200.000 computer systems. The Wannacry ransomware is an unknown threat to many. According to Europol, it’s still active, so we need to be prepared. Not only for this ransomware, but also for the ones to come. This is only a start. Wannacry! Yes, you really wanna cry when this infects your system and when you get the ransom note.

Hostage of Wannacry

When your computer is infiltrated, you get a ransom note from the criminals with the request to pay $300 in Bitcoins. You get 6 hours in total, but after 3 hours the price goes up to $600. When the 6 hours are gone your files get destroyed.

Wannacry ransom note

Stole from the NSA

The tools the Wannacry Criminals are using are stolen from the NSA. Through the secrets revealed by Snowden, we know that the NSA has a section where hacks are manufactured and weak spots in software are sought or built. This is very dangerous material when it is in the hands of cyber criminals. And that’s exactly what has happened now.

Who is behind the Wannacry ransomware?

Investigation points in the direction of Northern Korea. They are pretty sure that this threat comes out that direction. Many affected sites are in the UK, China, and Russia but it is spreading worldwide. In the UK they paralyzed a whole hospital computer system. They had to move people from E.R. to rescue them. Countries infected with Wannacry ransomware.

What the cyber criminals earn from the ransom

These dudes don’t do this for free, they earn quite an amount of money with this. Journalists of Quartz developed a twitter robot that is linked to the 3 bitcoin portfolios of the hackers. You can track their earnings @actual_ransom

actual_ransom_wannacry

What happens when you pay?

You have to trust the people, who, in the first place, kept you as a hostage, that they decrypt your files again. After you’ve paid. The nasty thing in this, these criminals have stolen the tools to take you hostage, but did they steal the decryption material too? Again, you have to trust dishonest people.

Which action can you take against ransomware?

  • Keep your system updated.
  • Have a good virus scan.
  • Make backups in the cloud or on an external hard drive or USB stick.
  • Never click on any link sent to you by email.
  • Do not open PDF’s which are not from a trusted person.
  • Don’t go to places offering shady or illegal content.
  • Download only from safe sites.
  • Don’t use any public WiFi.
  • Always think twice before you click on anything on the Internet.

Which hosting company is the safest?

There are a lot of good and responsible hosting companies online offering you packages, and there are also a lot of shady companies active. My no #1 recommendation is the hosting platform of Siterubix, it’s part of the Wealthy Affiliate University, and I know they do about anything to keep the hosted websites safe. They backup my website on a daily base. They include free SSL certificates to owned domain name websites. And a secured environment, e.g. you do not need Akismet for protection. When you choose a hosting company to host your asset, you need to inform yourself about the service they give you. At least, it’s your lost when something goes wrong.

 

 

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