A global ransomware attack based on a leaked NSA tool successfully breached into 100,000 computer systems and servers across 99 countries. During the 1st day of the attack, the focus was set on Bitcoin instead, which had minimal involvement in the ransomware attack, as opposed to the utilization of an NSA tool developed using taxpayers'capital.
What really happenedOn May 12, the WannaCry ransomware begun to spread across the entire world, attacking 75,000 computers in a matter of hours. Based on MalwareTech, WannaCry targeted and encrypted 100,000 computers in an amount of 24 hours, quickly becoming the greatest ransomware attack in history.
The WannaCry ransomware, that is also called WanaCrypt0r 2.0, infected a few of the world's largest corporations and organizations such as the National Health Service (NHS) hospitals
Consequently, companies weren't able to hold out operations and hospitals over the UK struggled to serve patients as their databases and servers became encrypted.
On May 13, Russia Today (RT) further revealed that computers at Russia's Interior Ministry and the country's largest telecommunications company Megafon also fell victim to the WannaCry ransomware. In a interview with RT, Megafon spokesperson Pyotr Lidov stated:
"The virus that's spreading worldwide and demanding $300 to be handled has been available on a sizable quantity of our computers in the next 50% of the afternoon today.”
Why Bitcoin got blamed, againBitcoin was the helm of global media attention as the WannaCry ransomware demanded victims to cover ransom in Bitcoin to be able to receive decryption keys to regain access for their encrypted files. Some major media outlets such as the New York Times blamed Bitcoin for the WannaCry ransomware attack, emphasizing the “anonymity” of Bitcoin.
Obviously and evidently, Bitcoin isn't anonymous in nature. In reality, in its coverage, the New York Times contradicted itself by stating that Bitcoin is anonymous but a startup called Elliptic surely could trace payments back again to the accounts of the WannaCry ransomware distributors. Hence, if Elliptic surely could trace transactions or ransom payments to the accounts of the cyber criminals, Bitcoin isn't anonymous and is transparent.
Moreover, as Bitcoin and security expert Andreas Antonopoulos noted, Bitcoin had minimal involvement in the ransomware attack solely because Bitcoin was the currency of preference for the ransom payments. When it wasn't for Bitcoin, the criminals could have used other methods which are much harder to track and trace.
“Ransomware attacks used the leaked NSA tools to compromise computers. News media blaming Bitcoin? Blaming Bitcoin for ransomware is strictly like blaming the duffel bag saturated in cash for a kidnapping.”
Keep calm and buy BitcoinHowever, after the first day of the attack, many media outlets specifically in the UK started to supply factual and fair reports. On May 13, the afternoon following the WannaCry ransomware struck, “How exactly to Buy Bitcoin” features dominated the leading page of major UK newspapers.
Based on analysis, the WannaCry ransomware attack spreads exponentially because of its SMB exploit and remote hijacking on vulnerable computers. Every online IP address exploited by the WannaCry ransomware will get encrypted.
It is probable that more victims will emerge within the next couple of days because the ransomware attack spreads ever further over the globe.
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