CSO Online, Josh Fruhlinger
In mid-2017, two major and intertwined ransomware attacks spread like wildfire across the globe, shutting down hospitals in Ukraine and radio stations in California, and that was when ransomware became an existential threat.
The first of the two major attacks was called WannaCry, and “was easily the worst ransomware attack in history,” says Avast’s Penn. “On May 12th, the ransomware started taking hold in Europe. Just four days later, Avast had detected more than 250,000 detections in 116 countries.” (That really puts 150,000 Android infections over more than a year into perspective.)
But WannaCry’s real importance goes beyond the numbers: ReliaQuest CTO Joe Partlow points out that it was “the first wave of attacks that maliciously utilized leaked hacking tools from the NSA” — in this case EternalBlue, an exploit that takes advantage of a defect in Microsoft’s implementation of the SMB protocol.
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