WannaCry: How Does It Work?

Here's what you need to know about the Ransomware that's been dubbed WannaCry.

Security experts say this is the worst and most widespread pieces of malware they've ever seen. Especially because it's even caused some hospitals in the United Kingdom to have to cancel outpatient appointments.

How does it work? The way the Ransomware works is that it locks up all the files in your computer and demands $300 in Bitcoin in order for you to regain control. People all over the world have been subjected to this attack. While researchers are reporting tens of thousnds of infections in about 100 countries, the nature of Bitcoin doesn't allow us to know how many have given into the pressure and paid the attackers.

How is this spreading? Researchers say this is spreading through a Windows ™ weakness known as Eternal Blue which Microsoft released a patch for last month. This Ransomware is actually just going through the internet looking for vulnerable computers according to cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes. That means you don't even need to click a phishing e-mail to get infected.

How can you protect yourself? Well, you know those seemingly annoying security updates for Microsoft Windows, if you've downloaded the latest one you're safe. If you haven't, do it right away. For now, that's about it.

Who's responsible? Researchers aren't pointing their fingers yet, but the most amount of attacks so far have been in Taiwan, Ukraine and Russia.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, tweeted:

If @NSAGov had privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they *found* it, not when they lost it, this may not have happened https://t.co/lhApAqB5j3

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 12, 2017

United States cybersecurity experts all agree that the scariest part about this Ransomware is it's wide reach, and it's still spreading.