Unfortunately, many people – and businesses – still do not grasp the importance of securing their systems with regular updates. In addition, many do not even know what software they are currently running and what patch level these might currently be on. A big risk. Over the past weekend when the crypto virus “WannaCry” (also known as “WannaCrypt”) caused the complete encryption of tens of thousands of computers in more than ca. 75 countries (as per May 16), these weak spots became very apparent. The attack was so devastating that many corporations were forced to cease operations temporarily .
Once it takes control, this sophisticated ransomware – the original coding of which has been accredited to the American National Security Agency (NSA) – threatens to delete the encrypted files if the ransom (in Bitcoins) is not paid within a given deadline (usually 72 hours). Many frightened of the consequences have already paid the price. Experts warn, however, that paying the attackers does not guarantee that files will be restored again. Final analyses of this large-scale attack are ongoing. What is already clear though is that this global attack underlines the importance of keeping an up to date inventory of your software to minimize the risk of such a devastating violation of data.