Remember the widespread WannaCry ransomware cyberattack from 2017 that became a nightmare to organizations and the general public? It is apparently still going strong, according to Precise Security, a computer security firm.
A recent report from Precise Security notes that WannaCry was the most commonly encountered ransomware attack in 2019. For the uninitiated, WannaCry ransomware encrypts all the data present in your PC and locks you out from it. About 23.56% of all encryption ransomware attacks that took place during the past year were based on WannaCry.
The report mentions that the WannaCry ransomware caused $4 billion in losses across the world. That indeed is a huge sum of money, isn’t it?
Microsoft did patch the vulnerability but a lot of people did not care to keep their PC updated which in turn made them vulnerable to attacks. A prime example of this would be the rising number of attacks against government agencies running an outdated copy of Windows.
As far as the causes of these ransomware infections are concerned, spam and phishing emails top the list. About 67% of ransomware attacks are believed to be caused due to spam emails. In fact, the firm notes that spam messages account for 55 % of global email traffic.
A lack of cybersecurity training turns out to be the second most common cause with a 36% share. Using weak passwords comes close with a 30% share. Other reasons include poor user practices, malicious website ads, and clickbait.
As a preventive measure, it is recommended to keep your Windows PC updated along with all the security updates. Check out our in-depth guide here to protect your Windows PC from WannaCry ransomware.