Ransomware Attacks: A Closer Look


Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts the victim’s files and demands a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. This form of malware has become increasingly prevalent in recent years and has wreaked havoc on organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to multinational corporations. The destructive power of ransomware is attributed to its ability to lock out users from accessing their files, as well as the threat of permanently deleting the data if the ransom is not paid. In this essay, we will explore the different types of ransomware, the destructive power of WannaCry, and measures that can be taken to protect against ransomware attacks.

Ransomware types

There are different types of ransomware, but the most common ones are encryption ransomware and locker ransomware. Encryption ransomware encrypts the victim’s files, rendering them unusable until the ransom is paid. Locker ransomware, on the other hand, locks the victim out of their system or device, denying them access to their files or applications until the ransom is paid.

WannaCry (2017)

One of the most destructive ransomware attacks in history was the WannaCry attack of 2017. This attack affected over 200,000 computers across 150 countries and caused an estimated $4 billion in damages. The WannaCry ransomware was a type of encryption ransomware that exploited a vulnerability in the Windows operating system to spread through networks rapidly. Once it infected a computer, it would encrypt the files and demand a ransom of $300 in Bitcoin. Failure to pay the ransom within a specified time resulted in an increase in the ransom amount. The WannaCry attack was particularly destructive because it affected critical infrastructure such as hospitals, transport systems, and communication networks, causing significant disruptions.

How to prevent a ransomware attack

To protect against ransomware attacks, there are several measures that can be taken. One of the most critical measures is to maintain regular backups of all important files and data. This way, even if the data is encrypted by ransomware, the victim can restore it from the backup. It is also essential to keep all software, including operating systems and applications, up to date with the latest security patches. This helps to close vulnerabilities that could be exploited by ransomware.

Another effective measure is to use antivirus and antimalware software that is updated regularly. These tools can detect and remove known ransomware threats before they can cause damage. Additionally, it is advisable to exercise caution when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources, as ransomware is often spread through phishing emails.


In conclusion, ransomware is a destructive form of malware that has caused significant damage to organizations and individuals worldwide. The WannaCry attack of 2017 is a stark reminder of the destructive power of ransomware and the need for vigilance in protecting against such attacks. It is essential to take measures such as maintaining regular backups, keeping software up to date, using antivirus and antimalware software, and exercising caution when dealing with unknown sources to protect against ransomware attacks. By following these measures, individuals and organizations can reduce the risk of falling victim to ransomware and minimize the impact of such attacks.

Share This Post:

About the Author

Victor Nzeata is the Chief Executive Officer of Cyber Brain Academy and has held previous roles such as electrical engineer, software engineer, cyber threat emulation lead, and information systems security manager. Victor is the first Army Cyber Operations Officer with experience leading electronic warfare missions and combined arms operations in the United States, Asia and the Middle East. Victor is also an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego.

Stay Connected

More Updates

Will Artificial Intelligence Replace the Cyber Workforce?

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has been rapidly growing in the field of cybersecurity, leading some to question whether AI will eventually replace the human workforce. While AI has proven to be an invaluable tool in automating certain tasks and detecting threats, it cannot fully replace the broad range of skills and knowledge that human cybersecurity professionals bring to the table. In fact, AI and human expertise are most effective when used in conjunction with one another. Human cybersecurity professionals are able to provide context, creativity, and critical thinking skills that AI lacks, while AI can assist in the processing and analysis of large amounts of data. Ultimately, a combination of AI and human expertise is necessary for effective cybersecurity, and it is unlikely that AI will fully replace the need for a skilled and knowledgeable cyber workforce.

Read More »

Ransomware Attacks: A Closer Look

Ransomware attacks have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. These attacks involve hackers gaining access to a victim’s computer system, encrypting files, and demanding a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware attacks can be devastating for individuals and organizations alike, causing significant financial and reputational damage. Prevention is key to avoiding these attacks, and this includes implementing strong cybersecurity measures such as regular backups, software updates, and employee education. In the event of a ransomware attack, it’s important to have a response plan in place to minimize the damage and quickly restore operations.

Read More »

The Cyber Hiring Crisis

The rapid growth of technology and the increasing number of cyber threats has led to a significant shortage of cybersecurity professionals worldwide. The global cybersecurity workforce is unable to fill the increasing demand for skilled professionals, leaving organizations vulnerable to cyber attacks. However, IT certifications have emerged as a solution to bridge the skill gap and meet the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals. These certifications help ensure that individuals have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform these critical roles, making them more employable and more likely to secure high-paying jobs in the cybersecurity industry. By investing in IT certifications, individuals and organizations can address the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals and mitigate the risks of cyber attacks.

Read More »

Is a CISA Certification Worth It?

the CISA certification is critical in the field of information systems auditing, control, and security. It is globally recognized, enhances the employability and career prospects of individuals, and demonstrates a commitment to professional development. The CISA certification is an important credential for IT professionals interested in specializing in information systems auditing, control, and security and seeking to advance their careers in this field.

Read More »

ISACA CRISC: Become a Trusted Advisor for Risk Management

The CRISC certification is an essential credential for IT professionals interested in pursuing a career in risk management and information security. It is highly valued by employers around the world and helps individuals to improve their earning potential and career prospects. The CRISC certification also plays a vital role in meeting the global demand for cybersecurity professionals, ensuring that organizations have the skilled professionals they need to manage their information systems risks effectively.

Read More »

CompTIA Cloud+ Certification: Advancing Your Cloud Computing Career

The CompTIA Cloud+ certification is a valuable credential for professionals who work with cloud technologies. It is designed to validate their skills and knowledge in cloud architecture, design, security, and maintenance. This certification is ideal for individuals who want to advance their careers in cloud computing and demonstrate their expertise to employers. It demonstrates a high level of technical knowledge and expertise, and can lead to better job opportunities and higher salaries for certified professionals.

Read More »