Italian American Police Society of New Jersey

Danger – Ransomware Epidemic

You CAN Protect yourself.  Take precautions
Cyber security has become one of the primary concerns of today’s society. Recently a
ransom ware known as “Wannacry” was released to computers across the globe.  The ransom ware acts as a worm that finds a Microsoft vulnerability and exploits it. Once the computer has been exploited the worm then travels to other similarly vulnerable computers located on accessible networks. The result of this exploitation is a locked screen that typically reads “Ooops, your important files are encrypted.” The worm also targets backup files so the computer cannot be placed in safe mode to restore a previous version. The encrypted files will have an extension of  .WCRY added to their file names.

Over 200,000 computers globally have been locked by this ransom ware. The hackers behind the attack have asked for $300 in bitcoins to unlock the computer. As of 5-15-17, it is believed that the hackers have only received approximately $50,000; however, more payments have begun to flow in due to a threat of an increased “fine” of $600, 72 hours after the attack, and the files on the computer being permanently locked after seven days if no action has been taken. It is believed that the total money collected is low due to the difficulty of the average person to obtain crypto currency in the form of bitcoins.

Read NY Times Article on Ransomeware here