What is Wannacry Ransomware?
Ransomware is a specific type of virus which can encrypt all of the data on your computer.
Once it has done that, a message appears on screen demanding a payment, or ransom, for a “Decryption Key” to allow data to be recovered.
The ransom in this case is about $300, to be paid in Bit Coins.
Paying the ransom does not guarantee decryption!
Why is Wannacry Ransomware such big news?
This variant of ransomware, WannaCry, has hit the news because it affected NHS computers. It infected a large amount of computers quickly due to a flaw in the Windows operating system.
Microsoft released a patch to fix the flaw in March 2017, but computers that were not patched are still vulnerable.
The NHS runs many old PCs, running on Windows XP. This is an old, insecure operating system.
They have not updated computers with the latest patches, and presumably are not running good antivirus software.
Will Wannacry Ransomware affect me?
This particular virus is unlikely to affect you. If it was going to, the chances are that it would have already done so.
It has also now been “killed” by the discovery of a poor piece of coding in the virus itself.
BUT, the type of virus is now known to many malicious people. They will now write many variants on the virus and we expect many more attacks.