What Is The WannaCry Ransomware Attack And How Did It Work?

Arthur 11 Oct, 2022 301 Views
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Today, most of our lives exist online. From our personal experience to our finances, the Internet has become a powerful tool to manage our everyday activities. Both our private and professional lives are tied into our computer devices and gadgets. Now more than ever, our computers serve not only as tools to access the online world but also to store our data and other essential information. Despite such developments, most of us continue to be careless when using these online platforms.

In the past, we have seen cyberattacks that targeted more secure, important, and high-profile systems than our home computers. This article talks about one most significant attack in recent memory. It answers the questions: what is the wannacry ransomware attack? And, how the wannacry kill switch effectively saved the global community from this extremely dangerous attack.

It is crucial that we know these cyberattacks to equip ourselves with the necessary tools. Malware continues to evolve and develop. Hence, our computer and online protection should innovate too.

So, What Is The Wannacry Ransomware Attack?

Many people ask, “what is the wannacry ransomware attack?” It happened in May 2017. Using the wannacry code, the ransomware worm spreads fast across computer networks. It was able to infect seemingly secured high-profile systems, including the National Health Service of Britain.

The attack is delivered into a computer through a code. It is in the form of a dropper that extracts other application programs. Once the malware enters the computer, it tries to locate a hard-coded URL where the wannacry kill switch is located. If it fails to do so, the malware encrypts files, including MP3s, .docs, MKVs, alongside other Microsoft Office files. These files become inaccessible to the user. They can only be recovered by paying $300 in Bitcoin to decrypt the files.

The wannacry ransomware attack was vexing because it was able to access and decode public files from agencies everywhere around the globe. Apart from health agencies, it’s additionally affected telecommunication corporations. The management and access of that information within the hands of criminals might cause more threats and issues in the future. As of now, the creators of the wannacry code have not revealed their plans on the data they have acquired in the past years.

What Is The Wannacry Ransomware Attack And How Does It Affect Your PC?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What Is The Wannacry Ransomware Attack?” let’s proceed to talking about how this malware affects our computers. Windows users are particularly vulnerable to the wannacry code. The malware affects the Windows implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. It could potentially lose the users’ personal files and documents. This is worrying given that the Microsoft Office is being used today to store important personal as well as professional files of the users.

But, as mentioned above, it does not necessarily begin until the program has not found the wannacry kill switch. Once the personal computer or other computer device gets affected, it is difficult to recover the encrypted data. It is critical then to prevent the wannacry ransomware attack happening to save a lot of money.

How To Solve The Wannacry Ransomware Attack

Aside from asking “what is the wannacry ransomware attack,” it is important to find ways on how to solve this problem. The complex problem of the wannacry ransomware attack can be solved with a simple solution. A seemingly simple and basic kill switch solves the wannacry ransomware attack. It is a URL live web page, otherwise known as the wannacry kill switch. Once the wannacry code finds that this wanna kill switch is active, thereby saving the files of the user from possible corruption and decrypting.

As of now, the wannacry kill switch remains the most effective solution to the problem. It is a seemingly cheap temporary fix to the problem. As for a long-term solution, personal computer users must get to have an updated antivirus program, operating systems, and other anti-malware applications. Users should not think twice about buying and purchasing programs that could protect from possible attacks. At the end of the day, the fee of these anti-malware programs is less compared to the data that users could possibly use. The wannacry ransomware attack targets Microsoft or Windows files. These platforms are often used to store rudimentary, albeit important, files and data.


Do remember that powerful malware such as the wannacry code was able to target secured and important computer systems all over the globe. Imagine what the wannacry ransomware attack could do to a much simpler computer system like what you have at home. If the question “what is the wannacry ransomware attack?” still echoes loudly in your head, give us a call and we’ll tell you more about it!

Safeguard your computers and sign up with Xcitium Cybersecurity today!

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