Meet WannaCry and Petya: Ransomware’s one-two punch combo
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Talk about the worst day ever. On May 12, 2017, and the days immediately following, over 200,000 systems in 150 countries were affected by the WannaCry cyber attacks. A ransomware attack primarily targeting the health care industry, the evil worm also known as Wana Decryptor is bitter proof the global ransomware epidemic is no joke. WannaCry's impact was genuinely scary, forcing hospitals in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to divert emergency patients. While the UK National Health System was among the most affected, countless internet-connected medical and monitoring devices around the globe were rendered useless the moment their critical system files were locked. And just when we thought the worst was over, the Petya ransomware launched its assault a month later. For many IT pros worldwide, WannaCry and Petya necessitated a leap into action. Jennings Aske, vice president and CISO at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, immediately evaluated all controls to mitigate the possibility that medical monitoring technology would be affected, for instance. And while they'll likely fade away as scary security memories, the aftermath of the WannaCry and Petya attacks should still spark conversations among all IT pros about how bad ransomware has become and how IT security needs to adapt to lock down all risks threatening the business.