The World for Ransome: The Effects of Wannacry

What a stealthy bugger of a problem. Malware deftly delivered, locking the system by encrypting files and making them otherwise impossible to access unless a fee is paid. A form of data  hijacking that can only be admired for its ease of execution, for its viral-like replication that seeks, even hunts, vulnerable “unpatched” computer systems.

The global information environment is well and truly primed for plunder, vulnerable to such malicious “worms” as WannaCry.  Each age creates the next circumstance for profit, often outside the boundaries deemed acceptable at the time.  In a networked age reliant on huge quantities of data, times are good for the intrepid.

The weekend reporting on the WannaCry ransomeware worm was filled with predictable gruesomeness, suggesting that the unfortunates turning up to work on a Monday could well discover they were unable to access work files.

Much of the damage had already been done, with notable targets being the National Health System in Britain, and the Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica.  In Britain, patients had to be relocated, and scheduled operations and treatment delayed if not cancelled altogether. Crisis meetings were held by members of the May government.  As one doctor put it in eerily apocalyptic fashion, “our hospital is down.”

Another notable country target was Russia, including networks within the Interior Ministry, suggesting that the cyber misfits in question may have overstretched

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