WannaCrypt Ransomware Attacks on Out-of-Date Systems
May 15, 2017
| Ruth E. Promislow and Michael R. Whitt
The serious WannaCrypt ransomware worm which ran roughshod over internet connected computers worldwide on Friday and Saturday appears to have been stymied, at least temporarily, by security researchers. In the meantime, Microsoft has provided patches for out-of-date operating systems, apparently as far back as Windows97, which is still running on some legacy systems.
Microsoft has provided a blog post update related to this cyber breach/ransomware threat, which may provide assistance.
Note that there is no consensus amongst cybersecurity advisors or researchers about whether or not to pay the ransom. Some reports have indicated that monitoring of Bitcoin’s blockchain indicates that ransom payments are likely the exception rather than the rule, as volumes of transactions related to the malware’s instructions for payment have apparently been low.
The scope and severity of this ransomware threat highlights the increasing sophistication of technology being used to perpetrate cyber threats, and the increasing likelihood that organizations may be subject to such attack.
Read more on Microsoft’s guidance here.