When WannaCry Ransomware took Users to ransom.

On the internet, inside information is currency, and there will always be counterfeiters among us.
J. Michael Straczynski 

As the famous opening dialog of Tom Cruise starred movie Mission Impossible-II says, ‘every search for a hero must begin with something every hero needs, a villain.’ If Internet of Things is considered to be a boon in the present age of Information Technology then another side of the coin is cyber security threats like the WannaCry Ransomware.

On May 12th in an unprecedented malware attack, an estimated 57,000 computers in more than 150 countries were infected with WannaCry. As the name suggests WannaCry a type of Trojan virus called ransomware holds the infected computer hostage and demands that the victim pays a ransom in order to regain access to the encrypted files on his or her computer.

In the coming days, we would learn more about the origin, present status and reasons behind one of the severe most malware attack in the times. Meanwhile, from what we have given to understand and the experience which clients shared about such incidents in the recent past, there are three points that all of us should keep in mind.

  1. Never use a pirated version of an operating system and keep updating the present versions.
  2. Keep a regular check on the anti-virus and firewall software on your systems.
  3. Always double-check the email ID irrespective of the display name before possibly opening the email or any attachments.

Recently I heard of four incidents where people received emails regarding the change of account details, requesting to remit the payment in the new account details given. While the display name of email sender was familiar the actual email IDs were different and we get phished by such internet frauds. We must understand that the information we exchange through emails or chatting on social media, can be intercepted by hackers and messages can be encrypted. UAE is the second most targeted country in the region when it comes to ransomware attacks after KSA.

For every vital information that we store and share on the internet, there is a disguise of phishing; for all the internet transactions there is an evil of cyber thefts and for all the engagements on social media, there is a risk of cyber bullying. The usage of internet has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives today up to a level where most of us cannot detach ourselves. We must understand that all of us are vulnerable in the online world and need to safeguard our people and organizations from cyber crimes, the same way as we do in the physical world. The incident of WannaCry Ransomware has reignited the debate on malware attacks and an urgent need to tackle the menace of cyber crimes.   


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