Exactly on May 12, 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack occurred. The attack, carried out as a result of a vulnerability called ‘EternalBlue’ that exploits outdated systems, caused unprecedented destruction by encrypting data and demanding ransom.
In England, the National Health Service (NHS) came to a standstill, surgeries could not be performed. The telecom sector in Spain paused, automotive companies in France suspended their production, the systems of global logistics companies were disrupted.
2 years after the attack…
When we look at the whole world today, 24 months after the WannaCry attack, we see that healthcare systems continue to digitize rapidly in Europe, America and the Asia Pacific region. From general practical diagnostics provided free of charge via video call in parts of the UK, to AI-based oncological analysis scans in the US; This is evident in many examples, ranging from digital therapy in Austria and Germany to the 3D printing of certain limbs, and even the mass digitization of medical records in Estonia.
Medical records more valuable than credit card numbers
According to antivirus and internet security company ESET, although these advances have facilitated access to healthcare, resulting in more positive outcomes for patients, they are also at risk of malicious attack, like any digital system. The gravity of the situation is understandable, given that medical records are worth 10 times more on the black market than credit card numbers. We know that malicious actors are after medical identities for their personal gain. Therefore, it is more important than ever that we all take the necessary steps to protect our personal digital equipment and the systems in which they operate.
Claim your security
As WannaCry is erased from memory, the public’s belief that the risks to health systems have disappeared may become stronger, but we need everyone to claim their own digital identity. ESET sees in full detail that this risk is very real, as a result of hundreds of millions of attempts that it detects and blocks every day. This two-year anniversary, which puts the lives of thousands of people at risk, once again reminds us how important it is to protect our digital health.
ESET users not affected by the attack
ESET users were protected when the WannaCry attack occurred. ESET’s award-winning cybersecurity researchers, with information gathered from over 100 million endpoints protected every day; They analyze data from collaborations with Interpol, the FBI, and other international security forces. ESET technology blocked the WannaCry malware at entry level, preventing its spread.
What to do?
Recalling WannaCry, ESET researchers made the following recommendations for a safe digital life:
- Install the latest Windows operating system updates and patches.
- Use up-to-date and proactive security software.
- Do not immediately open attachments in emails from people you do not know. In addition, we recommend that you do not open an attachment in an e-mail from someone you know and trust, which you did not expect and did not request.
- Arrange your passwords as strong with numbers and letters and do not use the same password on other accounts.
- Back up your data regularly. Backup, in case of infection; will allow you to restore your data. Eliminate the risk of corrupting your backups by not leaving the external storage devices on which you store your backups connected to computers.
- If you are an ESET user, make sure the product’s current ESET Live Grid feature is active.