Tech News

Ransomware Cyberattack: WannaCry Attacks These Extensions, Be Informed!

By on
ransomware cyberattack
PHOTOGRAPH: Christiaan Colen/Flickr under Creative Commons |

An unprecedented malware attack has struck the web recently, infecting around 57,000 computers in over 150 countries by the end of the day on Friday. Called WannaCry, the ransomware cyber attack has brought companies and government offices from Russia to China to the UK and the US to their knees, seizing control of the data from affected computers until the victims pay a ransom.

To keep you updated, here’s everything you need to know about the ransomware cyberattack.

What is WannaCry?

WannaCry (also known as Wana Decryptor or WCry) is basically the name for a prolific hacking attack known as “ransomware.” As the name suggests, it holds a computer hostage until a ransom is paid.

For it to work, computers need to be infected with a virus, which is usually accomplished by tricking someone into clicking on an infected link or attachment. In recent years, hackers have used emails to spread ransomware through disguising it as fake mail delivery notifications from trusted contacts, tax returns, or even electricity bills.

Once victims open the link or attachment, the malware encrypts the computer’s hard drive, locking people out of computer files, including photos and music libraries. Then the program installs a text file threatening to destroy the files unless you pay a certain amount of money.

Ransomware CyberattackRansomware Cyberattack Photo from BGR

In WannaCry’s case, it specifically demands a ransom of $300 in bitcoins at the time of infection. If the target fails to pay the amount within three days, it doubles to $600.  After seven days without payment, the malware will delete all of the encrypted files and all data will be lost.

According to Symantec, WannaCry targets and encrypts the following filetypes.

  • .123
  • .3dm
  • .3ds
  • .3g2
  • .3gp
  • .602
  • .7z
  • .ARC
  • .PAQ
  • .accdb
  • .aes
  • .ai
  • .asc
  • .asf
  • .asm
  • .asp
  • .avi
  • .backup
  • .bak
  • .bat
  • .bmp
  • .brd
  • .bz2
  • .cgm
  • .class
  • .cmd
  • .cpp
  • .crt
  • .cs
  • .csr
  • .csv
  • .db
  • .dbf
  • .dch
  • .der
  • .dif
  • .dip
  • .djvu
  • .doc
  • .docb
  • .docm
  • .docx
  • .dot
  • .dotm
  • .dotx
  • .dwg
  • .edb
  • .eml
  • .fla
  • .flv
  • .frm
  • .gif
  • .gpg
  • .gz
  • .hwp
  • .ibd
  • .iso
  • .jar
  • .java
  • .jpeg
  • .jpg
  • .js
  • .jsp
  • .key
  • .lay
  • .lay6
  • .ldf
  • .m3u
  • .m4u
  • .max
  • .mdb
  • .mdf
  • .mid
  • .mkv
  • .mml
  • .mov
  • .mp3
  • .mp4
  • .mpeg
  • .mpg
  • .msg
  • .myd
  • .myi
  • .nef
  • .odb
  • .odg
  • .odp
  • .ods
  • .odt
  • .onetoc2
  • .ost
  • .otg
  • .otp
  • .ots
  • .ott
  • .p12
  • .pas
  • .pdf
  • .pem
  • .pfx
  • .php
  • .pl
  • .png
  • .pot
  • .potm
  • .potx
  • .ppam
  • .pps
  • .ppsm
  • .ppsx
  • .ppt
  • .pptm
  • .pptx
  • .ps1
  • .psd
  • .pst
  • .rar
  • .raw
  • .rb
  • .rtf
  • .sch
  • .sh
  • .sldm
  • .sldx
  • .slk
  • .sln
  • .snt
  • .sql
  • .sqlite3
  • .sqlitedb
  • .stc
  • .std
  • .sti
  • .stw
  • .suo
  • .svg
  • .swf
  • .sxc
  • .sxd
  • .sxi
  • .sxm
  • .sxw
  • .tar
  • .tbk
  • .tgz
  • .tif
  • .tiff
  • .txt
  • .uop
  • .uot
  • .vb
  • .vbs
  • .vcd
  • .vdi
  • .vmdk
  • .vmx
  • .vob
  • .vsd
  • .vsdx
  • .wav
  • .wb2
  • .wk1
  • .wks
  • .wma
  • .wmv
  • .xlc
  • .xlm
  • .xls
  • .xlsb
  • .xlsm
  • .xlsx
  • .xlt
  • .xltm
  • .xltx
  • .xlw
  • .zip

 

Who has been hit so far?

As of Monday, what seems to be the world’s biggest cyberattack has already infected 300,000 machines generally powered by Microsoft Windows. The victims, per CNNinclude universities, manufacturers, companies,  hospitals, and government agencies in countries like Spain, Russia, Britain, and Germany. Among those who confirmed to have been targeted by the scheme are:

  • Nissan
  • FedEx
  • Deutsche Bahn (Germany)
  • Hitachi (Japan)
  • Russian Central Bank
  • Russian Railways:
  • Megafon (Russia)
  • Telefónica (Spain)
  • National Health Service (UK)
  • India’s State police
  • Department of Homeland Security (US)

How can I protect myself from the ransomware cyberattack?

Regardless of the operating system used, the public is advised to install any and all available security updates immediately. Windows users whose machines run on Windows XP, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2003 are highly urged to install this new security patch released on Friday by Microsoft. Users can also further protect themselves by being wary of malicious email attachments.

What can I do if my computer is infected with WannaCry?

Unfortunately, there is no solution for the ransomware yet.  However, antivirus companies and cybersecurity experts are working hard to come up with ways to decrypt the files on infected machines. This means the only option right now is to meet the financial demand of the malware, unless you have a backup of your data. Still, experts recommend against doing so, arguing that it does not guarantee restoration of the files and also funds future crime.

Also Read: Apple iCloud Hacking Danger Real: How To Protect Your Account

About the author

To Top