Why the WannaCry cyberattack is so bad, and so avoidable
The wannacry cyber attack continues to claim victims across the globe, crippling many major business computer systems.
All of which could have been prevented if businesses kept their Windows computers updated with the latest security patches.
European law enforcement officials say more than 200,000 computers, in 150 countries Had been hit by this ransomware attack, which as the name suggests, locks up computers until the owner pays the ransom.
In this case the hackers are asking for $300 in BitCoin to set your compter free and the longer you wait the more you have to To pay.
After a week, the hackers threaten to permanently lock the computer's files.
Authorities warn users not to pay the ransom, but it appears many already have.
A source tells CNBC that about $50,000 in BitCoin have been paid to To the hackers as of Monday.
Security researchers say there's no any detail yet that paying the ransom will actually unlock the computer.
According to a blog post by the Cyber Security Firm Checkpoint, there's no way to tie a payment to the person making it, unlike how other ransom where it typically works.
The first wave of WannaCry victims included at these 16 state run hospitals in the United Kingdom putting patient's lives at risk.
It hit phone companies, like Telefonica, as well as delivery and transport companies, FedEx and Germany's Deutsche Bahn.
South America's Latam airlines also got snagged up in the malware.
Wannacry is a particularly nasty computer worm It's name is short for the Malware WannaCrypt also referred to as WanaCryptor and Wanna Decryptor.
If one computer catches it, say by taking in the bait in a phishing email, it's gonna spread to infect computers across a business network.
And it's spreading on machines that are running old unsupported or unpatched versions of Windows This vulnerability was exposed earlier this year and Microsoft issued a patch.
So if you update your computer, you're fine.
But those hospitals attacked in the UK, yeah, that network has computers running Windows XP.
Microsoft stopped supporting Forwarding and patching Windows XP three years ago.
But this attack was so bad, Microsoft released an emergency patch over the weekend for any businesses still using XP, even though we were all warned years ago that it wasn't safe to use anymore.
You may have heard that WannaCry was stopped Friday, but that was just a temporary halt as the creators released a new version without a kill switch.
I'm Bridgett Carey, stay up to date on the latest WannaCry developments at CNN.com.
Tech IndustryWannaCryWindows XPHackingMalware
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