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This ransomware attack was caused by a bug called “WanaCrypt0r 2.0” or WannaCry, that exploits a vulnerability in Windows and spreads via email. WannaCry is believed to use the EternalBlue exploit, which was developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to attack computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems to gain access to terrorists computers. EternalBlue exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft’s implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.
Despite the fact that the vulnerability was resolved by the security update (MS17-010) provided by Microsoft on March 14, 2017, many Windows users had still not installed this security patch when, on 12 May, the WannaCry ransomware attack used the vulnerability to spread itself. This attack was unique because it used a worm. Worms differ from common Ransomware in that they can exploit weaknesses within the operating system, meaning that they do not require access to files and folders of local systems in order to spread. They utilise vulnerabilities that allow for remote code execution.
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