What is 'WanaCrypt0r 2.0' ransomware and why is it attacking global computers?
A ransomware attack has struck computers of companies, state insititions and individuals worldwide. The Guardian stated that about 50,000 hacking cases have been reported in at least 99 countries, including Great Britain, Russia, Spain, Ukraine and Taiwan.
Yet, this may not be the main attack, with the brunt of it still to come, says the Wall Street Journal. The virus may still be waiting to strike when people get back to work on Monday, 15 May.
How does it work?
When a computer is infected, the ransomware typically contacts a central server for the information it needs to activate, and then begins encrypting files on the infected computer with that information. Once all the files are encrypted, it posts a message asking for payment to decrypt the files – and threatens to destroy the information if it doesn’t get paid, often with a timer attached to ramp up the pressure.