WANNACRY RANSOMWARE has spread across 150 countries and sent many NHS hospitals into meltdown. But what is it?
Wanna Decryptor, also known as WannaCry or wcry, is the ransomware program behind the global cyber-attack that affected the NHS.
Ransomware is the malicious software used by hackers to block access to a computer system until a ransom is paid.
WannaCry locks the data on a computer system and leaves the user with two files: instructions on what to do and the Wanna Decryptor program.
Victims are warned that their files will be deleted within days if they do not pay up using Bitcoin, the world’s biggest virtual currency.
The WannaCry ransomware affects machines running the Windows operating system.
Should you pay the ransom?
The National Crime Agency (NCA) have advised victims NOT to pay the ransom.
The NCA said in a statement: ‘Victims of fraud should report it to Action Fraud. We encourage the public not to pay any ransom demand.’
Check Point is among the cybersecurity firms warning that victims should not pay the ransom demanded by WannaCry ransomware. In a blog post earlier this week, the firm said not a single case has been reported of anyone receiving their files back after paying the ransom.
Check Point also highlighted the problematic payment and decryption system as well as a false demo of the decryption operation.
It has been claimed that the way in which WannaCry has been designed means that most people are unlikely to ever see their files again.
Victims are expected to contact the criminals for a key to unlock their files, said security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey.
‘I very much doubt anyone would return your contact request, bearing in mind the attention that is now on this,’ he told the BBC.
‘If anyone pays this ransom they are more than likely going to send Bitcoin that will sit in an address for ever more. No point.’