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    Who is Behind the Recent 'Malicious' WannaCry Cyberattack

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    The WannaCry ransomware attack is an ongoing cyberattack targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system. The attack started on Friday, May 12, and has reportedly infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries. Who stands behind this ongoing malicious attack?

    The attack has been described by Europol as unprecedented in scale with the virus software demanding ransom payments in the cryptocurrency bitcoin thus blackmailing the victims.

    The head of the Association of Information Technologies and Cybersecurity, Yavuz Selim Yuksel, spoke to Sputnik in an interview about this virus.

    “After this malicious program operating on a ransomware system gets into your computer, it requires you to make a payment to provide access to your information on your computer. This is a kind of virus program that has enveloped the whole world and in particular, has spread widely in Turkey over the past few years,” Yuksel told Sputnik.

    The head further said that if a victim of such an attack wants to gain back access to his own computer and all his data, he has to pay the hackers, hence the name: ransomware.

    The ransom money can be received in multiple ways, for example, using bitcoin, a form of electronic cryptocurrency.

    “WannaCry is a program that was created by a hacker group called the Shadow Brokers, whose members are active all over the world,” Yuksel said.

    He further said that the exact size of this hacker group is unknown but it is no doubt a large international criminal group.

    “Just imagine, instead of going to rob a bank, they created this malicious program and without leaving their homes they can carry out such attacks,” the head said.

    Talking about how WannaCry gains access into a computer, the expert said that in the past few years, the main cases of cyber attacks in Turkey were related to email. A message comes to a person containing the virus and after the recipient clicks on the link, the virus enters the computer and encrypts  all the data, making it impossible for the victim to gain access to his database without paying.

    “There have been critical situations also, for example, when the virus hits a hospital's database. If this program, say penetrates the database where all the information on patients is found, serious disruptions arise to a point where patients cannot get their operations done. Such situations have occurred earlier. Therefore, this software can lead to deaths,” Yuksel said.

    Looking at the future of cyberattacks, the head said that when the number of such high-precision devices as dishwashers and washing machines, refrigerators and other electronic equipment reaches 55 billion units within the next 10 years, even more serious risks will arise.

    “There will be much larger attacks, damage of which will also be way more serious. Today, smart cars are becoming increasingly popular. Now imagine a cyberattack occurs while the car is traveling, all its control systems get blocked but the driver and passengers are all in the moving car,” Yuksel said.

    Hence, he feels that the development of such software will create even more serious threats for future societies.

    Related:

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    hacker, database, cyberattack, victims, cyber crime, bitcoin, Shadow Brokers
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