A malicious software on Friday created a cyber blizzard in the global cyber-media space by attacking more than 2,00,000 systems in nearly 150 countries. The software took control of the people’s computer and files and demanded users to pay $300 (Rs 19,000 approx) in virtual currency Bitcoin to unlock the files and regaining access to their systems.

Here’s all you need to know about the Ransomware attack:

What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious software that restricts users from using their device and the data till a ransom is paid to its creator. The software coupled with a worm allowed the malicious software to be replicated over networks across the globe. According to the experts, the virus exploits the vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system to gain control of the computers.

Microsoft said that while the systems running on Windows 10 were not targeted, the company had released a security patch Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003 on Friday. On the other hand, computers running on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 had received the security update back in March 2017.

Who has been affected?
According to reports, governmental and non-governmental agencies across the globe have been affected by the virus. The list includes the Russian interior ministry, FedEx, National Health Service of Britain, the production unit of Renault Dacia in Mioveni, a Nissan production plant in England, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn, Spanish telecom giant Telefonica, Portuguese telecom operator Portugal Telecom and the Argentinian Telefonica Argentina among others. The virus also affected many hospitals and transportation networks across Europe.

Who was behind the attack?
As of now the attacker and the motive behind the attack are unknown. And the security agencies across the globe are trying to find the cyber-criminal responsible for the attack.

Who stopped the virus from spreading?
A 22-year-old UK-based security researchers ‘Malware Tech’ accidentally stopped the Ransomware attack with the help of Darien Huss, a security analyst from the security firm Proofpoint by buying a domain that would act as ‘kill switch’ for the WannaCry virus for $10.69.

How badly is India affected?
According to a report by the Hindustan Times, India’s cyber security agency Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) has issued a ‘critical alert’ warning users not to pay the ransom.

Typically, the virus can take hold of services like the Delhi Metro, affect the governmental systems store data related to the Aadhaar card and even affect the Indian IT sector.

Security experts have warned that a second wave of the virus would attack Asia on Monday.

How to stop the attack from affecting your system?
First and foremost, update your operating system. In case you detect the attack, disconnect your system from the Internet as this would stop the virus from taking control of your data. And reach out to the cyber security cell of your nearest police station.

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