Recent ransomware dubbed “WannaCry” has brought many computers down to its knees. Let’s take a look at the essentials and how to protect yourself from a worm like this in the future.

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WannaCry Ransomware

What is a Ransomware

A ransomware is a program that is designed to restrict or cut off computer access until a sum of money is paid. In this case, the WannaCry program demands a total of $200 for every single system it infects via Bitcoins.

What is a Worm

A worm in computer terms is a program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. Often it requires the computer to be on the network in order to spread to other computers that are part of the same network.

How did this happen? I thought computers were secure!

You’re right, computers are secure if you have a good firewall and anti-spyware that protects you from the rest of the internet. However, in this case, the WannaCry worm uses an exploit in Windows that the NSA collected over the years but did not share with Microsoft, so all Windows machines were at one point vulnerable.