What is WannaCry and should you pay the ransom?
What is WannaCry?
Wanna Decryptor, also known as WannaCry or wcry, is the ransomware program behind the global cyber attack that affected the NHS.
Ransomware is the malicious software used by hackers to block access to a computer system until a ransom is paid.
WannaCry locks the data on a computer system and leaves the user with two files: instructions on what to do and the Wanna Decryptor program.
Victims are warned that their files will be deleted within days if they do not pay up using Bitcoin, the world’s biggest virtual currency.
Cyber attack: How to tell if you computer is infected and what to do
Cyber attack: Am I at risk from the WannaCry ransomware?
Bitcoin is a digital currency that can be transferred and used to make payments anonymously without fees. WHAT IS BITCOIN?
The WannaCry ransomware affects machines running the Windows operating system.
Should you pay the ransom?
The advice from security experts and the National Crime Agency (NCA) is do not pay the ransom.
The NCA says: “Victims of fraud should report it to Action Fraud. We encourage the public not to pay any ransom demand.”
Check Point is among the cybersecurity firms warning that victims should not pay the ransom demanded by WannaCry ransomware.
In a blog post yesterday, the firm said not a single case has been reported of anyone receiving their files back after paying the ransom.
Check Point also highlighted the problematic payment and decryption system as well as a false demo of the decryption operation.
It added: “Taking all this into consideration… puts into question the capability of the WannaCry’s developers to deliver on their promises to decrypt your files.”
Infected computers will display this message
It has been claimed that the way in which WannaCry has been designed means that most people are unlikely to ever see their files again.
Hacker House researcher Matthew Hickey said: “Do not pay the ransom, a manual human operator must activate decryption.”
Victims are expected to contact the criminals for a key to unlock their files, said security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey.
"I very much doubt anyone would return your contact request, bearing in mind the attention that is now on this," he told the BBC.
The biggest cyber-attacks, hacks and data breaches
Sat, May 13, 2017
From viruses to data breaches, cyber-crime is far from a modern invention – here is Express.co.uk's list of some of the biggest attacks in history.
1 of 15
14 of the biggest cyber-attacks, hacks and data breaches in history
"If anyone pays this ransom they are more than likely going to send Bitcoin that will sit in an address for ever more. No point."