A year and a half ago, the world was discombobulated by the WannaCry ransomware epidemic. As a result, cybersecurity firms everywhere spilled a lot of virtual ink on articles about how to minimize risks and secure infrastructure. Lately, it seemed that WannaCry had been consigned to history. But no.
Our experts were busy producing the latest IT threat evolution report when they came across an interesting statistic. It turns out that in Q3 2018 the “museum piece” WannaCry attacked 74,621 users. Put another way, that is almost a third (28.72%) of all ransomware attacks. So, reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.
Our statistics come from computers protected by our technologies, so no real damage occurred; our products have instantly repelled WannaCry from the start. However, the number of attempts to infect computers with this Trojan in 2018 suggests that someone out there is still actively using WannaCry. This would hardly be the case if there was nothing in it for cybercriminals — fools they are not. It means that they are still able to infect computers.
Infections continue even though theoretically, even in the event of a successful infection, WannaCry cannot spread over networks as it could in 2017, because users have installed the necessary updates (released for even the Stone Age Windows XP).
Another interesting stat our experts picked up is that although the number of new ransomware families is down this year, the number of attacks is on the rise. Whereas in Q2 we observed 158,921 attacked users, in Q3 that figure climbed to 259,867, and the number continues to grow month by month.
Therefore, we decided to repeat our customary set of tips to help protect your business from the ravages of ransomware.