So let me start off by saying Happy Anniversary. Okay, that’s sarcastic, because for the IT service world, this one is nothing to celebrate. It’s WannaCry’s second anniversary. Did we learn?
So let’s turn back time. On May 13, 2017, The WannaCry virus spread globally like a raging wildfire. But great Britain got the worst of it. It almost shut down hospitals, transportation, and governments. Some hackers took over user’s files and other sensitive info. However, they didn’t demand cash. Instead, they demanded cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. There was also a lot of blame to go around. Some blamed the NSA. But in actually, a North Korean hacking group used NSA documents and they launched the attack. In fact, they even used NSA backdoor Double Pulsar, to deliver WannaCry to the world.
So why do I talk about this cyber attack two years later? Because look at the impact it had. Back in 2017, there was already little trust for the NSA or the IT support world. Then WannaCry came along and made many of us even more cynical. Here’s an example. Microsoft released patches to fight the attacks. But people were slow to patch these systems. Political leaders called out the NSA on the damage it caused.
The WannaCry virus caused over $2 billion in damage. Also, nobody was indicted or anything. So why do I talk about this? Because today 1.7 million Internet endpoints that are still venerable. And guess where the most venerable devices are? You guessed it, right here in the USA. The WannaCry is mostly contained, it still causes problems. One thing I remember is that it targeted systems still using Windows XP, a system Microsoft stopped supporting years ago. They got hit really bad. So the next time a computer repair expert says to stop using certain software, will you at least consider it? It’s WannaCry’s second anniversary. What did we learn?