Essay on Cybersecurity: Ransomware

3 pages
552 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Ransomware gets regarded as one of the most popular forms of online attack that exist today. It sends its victims emails notifying them about a file or a link which seems innocuous and contains dangerous malware. The moment the victim proceeds to click on the link or opening any attachment received, the computer becomes automatically affected. The program works by encrypting the computer and denying the victim access to all the drives, folders, files and programs which are on the computer. It can also interfere with computer networks thus denying any network detection or reception. The meaning of Ransomware unfolds when the victim receives another email from the attackers demanding money in the form of Bitcoin which is a digital currency to facilitate the unlocking of the system.

The topic in question relates to the global cyber-attack which occurred on 12th May 2017. The massive Ransomware attack affected 99 countries with some technology researchers regarding it as the 'WannaCry' Ransomware. Avast which is one of the cybersecurity firms confirmed it as an attack which affected thousands of computers globally. In its report, Avast featured Russia, Taiwan, and Ukraine as the major targeted nations by the attack. In another report, the United Kingdom hospitals, FedEx and other universities from China also got featured as victims. Cybersecurity experts also pegged their voice on the attack and termed it as one of the broadest attack in history considering the extent in which it spread.

The Ransomware locked all the files on their victims' computers and proceeded to demand payment from the computer administrators to get back control. It also took advantage of computers which were not updated according to the Microsoft security patch. The Ransomware also presented unusual circumstance where it demanded at least $ 300, and after every hour the ransom was increasing. In China, many college students were profoundly affected by the same amount of ransom demanded from them. The Spanish authority also made a report of their Telkom Company being affected and spreading further to other areas within Spain. The event discussed is not the only Ransomware, there also exists the Petya attack which also got estimated to have affected thousands of Computers globally.

The topic of the discussion thus relates to security to a larger extent considering the manner in which it operates. It is a serious cyber threat which if not managed or solved can spread to numerous nations in the world leading to a global disaster. Therefore, to remediate or prevent the future occurrence of the 'WannaCry' appropriate recommendations must be put in place. One of the recommendations involves studying the tools which got used by the attackers in advancing the attack and developing more advanced security mechanisms. The other recommendation is for the computer operators to apply the patch which was released by Microsoft in March 2017 to ensure that their computers are updated with security protection software. The cybersecurity companies like Avast should also develop counter confidential software which can assist in the event of any future cyber-attack. The computer users should be encouraged to be more careful when using their computers and avoid any new unverified link or emails from unknown sources. Lastly, governments must play the role of ensuring that their citizens get protected, they should, therefore, invest in cybersecurity measures to avoid the repetition of the 'WannaCry' Ransomware.


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