Massive Ransomware Wave, WannaCry, Hits Banks
WannaCry (also known as WanaCrypt0r and WCry) has gained particular traction in Spain, where it has hobbled the telecom company Telefonica, the natural gas company Gas Natural, and the electrical company Iberdrola.
In the U.K., the bug locked up IT systems and phone lines at National Health Service (NHS) hospitals, causing officials to discourage people from visiting unless they need emergency treatment.
Ransomware is malware that essentially locks people out of their computers, holding the decryption or other release key ransom until the victim pays a fee, usually in Bitcoin. According to Symantec, such attacks have jumped from 340,665 in 2015 to 463,841 last year.