WannaCry: The Aftermath


Malware targets out-of-date software causing a global outcry and the emails issued to support customers who may have been targeted look suspiciously like phishing emails.

Recently WannaCry ransomware targeted computers running Microsoft Windows operating system, by encrypting data and demanding a ransom payment.

The digital attack spread across systems that had not updated with recent security updates. It hit the NHS, Telefonica, FedEx, and many other companies worldwide.

The metropolitan and City of London police forces issued an email alert in response to the WannaCry outbreak, which four days after the Malware had been contained, actually looked like a perfect example of a phishing email.

The email had misspellings, suspicious hyperlinks, abnormal sender address and no attempt at personalisation – all of which are classic signs of phishing emails.

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, explains the importance of companies fact checking and presenting information in the best way possible.

“In this modern digital minefield of emails, web pages and downloadable files, it is getting increasingly harder for the average user to determine if help is coming from a good source.

“Criminals are humans after all, they understand what makes us tick, and they will always take advantage of the current news.

“That might be something sad, something exciting or even something we are not “really” bothered about, but “have to know”. Therefore, when advice is offered it is very important to ensure it is delivered in the right method.

“Now I have always been a strong believer that any help is better than no help, but for me help is like a good dessert, if it don’t look good then the chances are it’s not going to get a second glance.

“The trouble with security advice is making sure it’s not only factually correct, but it also needs to be presented properly.

“Something that does not encourage someone to click a link that may appear dodgy and is as digestible as possible, ideally simple, clear and effective advice, anything else may well do more harm than good.”

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