WanaCrypt0r ransomware hits it big just before the weekend
Posted: May 12, 2017 by Pieter Arntz
Last updated: May 13, 2017
Reports of two massive, global ransomware attacks are dominating the news. As workers in Europe are heading home for the weekend, ransomware is shutting down their systems. Here’s what we know so far.
National Health Service (NHS) England, and Telefonica, one of the largest telecom providers in the world, have each given out statements indicating that their systems have been brought to a grinding halt by a ransomware that Malwarebytes detects as Ransom.WanaCrypt0r. The ransomware has also been observed hitting companies in Spain, Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan.
The ransomware is spread using a known, and patched, vulnerability (MS17-010) that came from a leaked NSA set of exploits that we reported on our blog in April. Our research shows the encryption is done with RSA-2048 encryption. That means that decryption will be next to impossible, unless the coders have made a mistake that we haven’t found yet.
The demanded ransom of $300 per device and the potential risks to the public that come with the targets being big utility and healthcare companies seem to be in shrill contrast. We can only hope that the companies that were hit will be able to get their backups deployed quickly and can start the recovery from this cyberattack.
Consumers and businesses alike should be sure their systems and software are updated with all current patches in order to stop the spread of infection. Both our consumer product, Malwarebytes, and our business product, Malwarebytes Endpoint Security, already provide proactive protection against this threat. Malwarebytes signature-less anti-exploit technology blocks the infection vector, while our anti-malware technology blocks the payload pre-execution. Our anti-ransomware technology prevents users’ files from being encrypted and will stop any future unknown ransomware variants. Malwarebytes combines multiple security layers with the best-informed telemetry to block an attacker at every stage of the kill chain.