Ransomware attacks can hit hard and fast, with organizations unaware of the issue until the damage is already done. WannaCry spread to businesses around the globe in mere hours on May 12, and by the afternoon, the infection was making national headlines. Companies and consumers alike panicked in the fallout of WannaCry’s ransom demands, wondering if their systems would be affected and how to prevent their hardware from getting breached. For the victims, the question was whether or not to pay to restore their data.
As time passed, solutions and patches to WannaCry have emerged to protect users, while those affected have taken action to recover. How could this strain have made as big of a splash as it has and what does it mean for the future? Here’s everything we know about WannaCry ransomware so far:
Europe Was Hit First
Earliest infection reports show that the first attack struck in Europe, where a computer user unknowingly opened a malicious email attachment, allowing WannaCry into their system. According to Financial Times, Spanish mobile operator Telefónica was among the first organizations to report a WannaCry infection. Shortly after, U.K. hospitals and clinics, French carmaker Renault, as well as some Russian and U.S. organizations announced they had been impacted. In total, at least 200,000 companies around the globe were attacked by WannaCry ransomware.
It Was Developed With Leaked NSA Tactics
The U.S. National Security Agency has