We thought WannaCry was over, but it’s making a comeback. Hackers have started using the devastating ransomware to access computers through fake email messages.
The UK’s Action Fraud reporting center wrote this morning that it had received several notifications concerning this email scam. Targeted PC users said they received very convincing emails from anti-virus software firm BT.
The fake email attempted to convince BT customers to agree to a “security upgrade,” which they could access by clicking a link in the email.
After analyzing this email, Action Fraud reported, they discovered the fraudulent website had a very similar domain to the real BT website — close enough to fool someone worried about their computer’s safety.
If an email recipient clicks on the link, hackers could use the now-infamous WannaCry ransomware to take the victim’s computer hostage.
Action Fraud reminds tech users not to click on any links received through email, no matter how legitimate the message looks. If you’re unsure about the safety of your computer, Action Fraud recommends contacting your anti-virus provider directly through its official website.
WannaCry Wreaks Havoc Across Europe
WannaCry became a household name last week when the ransomware knocked a large portion of the UK’s hospital system offline. Several hospitals reported having to turn ambulances away due to their compromised computer systems.
Several other institutions and companies across Europe fell victim to the ransomware. In the US, WannaCry targeted FedEx.
Using a Windows exploit accidentally leaked by the NSA, WannaCry infiltrates a victim’s computer and locks it down. The ransomware then displays a message on the PC, notifying the owner that their system has been compromised. If the victim does not pay a ransom in bitcoin, the message warns, WannaCry will wipe the computer and render it useless.
Authorities from the affected countries cautioned victims not to pay the ransom. This warning followed reports that computers still got wiped even after paying the ransom.
According to CNBC, although the hackers managed to infect 200,000 machines, they only received US $50,000 in payments.
People across the globe worried about the possibility of a second wave of ransomware attacks. By the start of this week, though, it seemed as though the threat had ended. Now, WannaCry has re-emerged, and PC owners need to make sure their machines have adequate protection.
Both authorities and software security experts advise installing the latest Windows updates, which include patches to stop WannaCry.
Have you received any suspicious emails after the WannaCry attacks? Share your experiences down below.
Images via Pixabay, Floodrisk.org.uk