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Know What is ‘WannaCry Ransomware Cyber Attack’ & Myth Around ‘Dance of Hillary’ Virus

16 May 2017

Sangita Agarwal

Bhubaneswar: There is a WhatsApp message now circulating around claiming that a virus called ‘Dance of the Hillary’ would format and ruin your phone. According to the Reserve Bank of India officials and Morning News USA, there is no mobile phone virus threat like the one called ‘Dance of the Hillary’and it is just a hoax. In fact, the message is just mutated version of the earlier ‘Dance of the Pope’virus hoax.

This message was created by some pranksters as a scare tactic.

On May 12, one of the biggest cyber attacks was witnessed in the history of internet with over 200,000 computers across 150 countries locked down by an outbreak of WannaCry Ransomware.

The software, called WannaCry exploited the security across countries, encrypted the files and demanded a certain amount of money to unlock the files. It led to shutting down of hospitals, universities, warehouses, ATMs and banks.

As per a report published by Kaspersky Lab, as many as 45,000 cyber attacks were carried out in 74 countries across the world in just a matter of few hours. In the first few hours, 200,000 machines were infected. While most of the cyber attacks were reported from Russia, many other countries also reported the attacks including India, Spain, Turkey, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, the U.S., China, Spain, Italy and Taiwan.

What is WannaCry Ransomware?

The attackers designed a malware called WannaCry which locked down the targeted machines encrypting its data and refusing access to its owner until he pays the demanded ransom. Here, the attack was first reported on May 12 in around 45 countries and the attackers demanded 300 to 600 Dollars in bitcoins, the online cryptocurrency, for each computer to give access to digital files.

One of the messages received by a victim read: “Your files are encrypted. To get the key to decrypt files you have to pay 500 USD.”

To infect a new computer, the WannaCry program contacts the web address. The WannaCry is programmed in such a way that it terminates itself if it manages to get through.

How Does It Affect A Computer?

It holds down systems is normally within an attachment to an email or files. As it masquerades something harmless, many people end up clicking on it. Once clicked, it encrypts the hard drive, making it impossible for the user to access the files and other documents stored into it.

How To Protect Yourself?

The way you can protect yourself is by installing any and all available security updates immediately. There is currently no fix for WannaCry.

  1. Do not click on any file or emails from suspicious sources.

  2. If clicked, direct them to spam.

  3. DO NOT download any attachments. The attachments may contain the virus.

  4. Do not keep your system turned on if you are not using it.

  5. Keep strong passwords.

  6. Create a backup of your important data at multiple locations in your system.

Truth Behind WhatsApp Message On ‘Dance Of Hillary’ Virus

Many people across the country have been getting messages that warned them that the ATM machines across the country will stay shut for a few days and that they should prevent any online transaction or shopping till the issue of Ransomware is fixed. While the Reserve Bank of India rubbished the rumours, it said that they have been keeping a close watch on the latest cyber attack.

The message reads: Please inform all contacts on your list not to open a video called the ‘Dance of the Hillary’. It is a virus that formats your mobile. They announced it today on BBC video. Fwd this msg to as many as you can!