Wannacry, Ransomware, and the Emerging Threat to Corporations

The WannaCry ransomware attack is a currently ongoing global cyberattack that began on May 12, 2017, and is unprecedented in scale—having already affected nearly a quarter-million computers in over 150 countries. The WannaCry virus exploits a vulnerability to Microsoft Windows that was originally developed by the U.S. National Security Agency and operates by encrypting a victim’s data and demanding payment of a ransom in exchange for data recovery. Security experts have indicated that a North Korea-linked group of hackers—who have also been implicated in cyberattacks against Sony Pictures in 2014, the Bangladeshi Central Bank in 2016, and Polish banks in February 2017—is behind the attack.

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