The World is crying. It has been hit by a malware attack. Yes, WannaCry is one of the most severe malware attacks in years. There's worse...WannaCry is far from over. It could strike again. So what is WannaCry? WannaCry is a malware. It is a scary type of trojan virus called "ransomware". This virus infects your computer and holds it hostage. You have to pay a ransom (money), to get access to files on your computer.
WannaCry spread like wildfire across the globe, infecting more than 57,000 computers in more than 150 countries by the end of Friday. India escaped the brunt of this attack, thanks to the timing of this incident. Most of the offices were shut over the weekend. QuickHeal detected more than 48,000 attempts of WannaCry ransomware attacks in India. Top cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, and Pune were affected by this malware.
Hackers behind the WannaCry cyber attack are demanding the ransom be paid in bitcoins. Want your computer to be released from WannaCry? Pay the ransom in bitcoins. What are bitcoins and why hackers like payments in bitcoins? Let's find out. Want to know more on investment planning? We at IndianMoney.com will make it easy for you. Just give us a missed call on 022 6181 6111 to explore our unique Free Advisory Service. IndianMoney.com is not a seller of any financial products. We only provide FREE financial advice / education to ensure that you are not mis-guided while buying any kind of financial products.
A ransomware like WannaCry, encrypts most of the files on your computer. The software then demands that you pay a ransom to have your files decrypted. You have to pay this ransom of $300 in bitcoins. If you don't pay the ransom within 3 days, the ransom amount doubles to $600. If you don't make the payment within 7 days, WannaCry will delete all the encrypted files and you will lose your data.
A Bitcoin is a digital currency which can be stored electronically. It came into existence on January 2009. Bitcoin is not controlled or regulated by any Country, Government or Bank. Its creator is believed to be Satoshi Nakamoto which is probably an alias. A community of people all over the World create bitcoins and you or anyone can join this community.
The process of making Bitcoins is called mining.Bitcoins run on a technology called blockchain technology. This is nothing but a shared public ledger. Every single confirmed transaction anywhere in the World is recorded in the blockchain.
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1. Bitcoins help you stay anonymous
One of the greatest power of the bitcoin is the ability to stay anonymous. Criminals and hackers have been associated with bitcoins since its inception.PM Narendra Modi demonetized 500 and 1000 rupee notes on November 8th 2016, to curb black money which fuels corruption and terrorism in India. A number of traders exchanged their black money against bitcoins. Bitcoins use blockchain technology which helps you stay anonymous and can be manipulated in a very secure way.
Do you think hackers will ever be caught if they accept ransom payments in bitcoins? What if the hackers don't decrypt your files after collecting the ransom? Can they ever be brought to justice?
2. Bitcoins can easily be encashed
If you are a hacker, bitcoins are a great help. You can easily encash ransom payments if received in bitcoins. You simply approach a bitcoin exchange which pays you cash in the preferred currency. You can even purchase items online using bitcoins.
Don't you think hackers can easily encash bitcoins?
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3. Bitcoins intimidate Companies to pay the ransom
You must be familiar with this ransom demand, A few weeks ago the IT Company Wipro received an anonymous threat. If 500 crores was not paid by May 25th a toxic drug would be released on the Wipro campus. The ransom was demanded in bitcoins. Many banks are stockpiling bitcoins in case they need to pay a ransom. Big Companies could also be stockpiling bitcoins to pay ransom, in case hackers disrupt their systems causing them losses in crores.
Bitcoins embolden hackers to release malware, intimidate Companies and Banks and collect ransom payments without the fear of getting caught. Don't you think so?
WannaCry has locked up hundreds and thousands of computers across the World and collected around $70,000 in ransom. No doubt this is a small amount, but more money could come in. This money could fuel more malware attacks. For hackers this is a Billion Dollar industry. Just picture this, WannaCry could cost the World's economy $4 Billion in damages and losses. Be Wise, Get Rich.
Mr. C S Sudheer is the founder and CEO of IndianMoney.com – India’s largest Financial Education Company. He started his career with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and later on worked with Howden India. After his brief stint in Howden India, he moved on and incorporated Suvision Holdings Pvt Ltd which is the sole promoter of IndianMoney.com. He aims to build a nation that is financially literate with investment savvy citizens.
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