WannaCry still hitting thousands of users worldwide

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New research from Kaspersky Lab has revealed that the WannaCry ransomware is still active with almost 75,000 users infected during Q3 2018.

A year and a half on from WannaCry's first appearance back in May 2017, the company that victims are still being hit by the devastating ransomware, with 74, 621 attacks in the last quarter of 2018 alone.

Overall, WannaCry accounted for nearly a third (28.72 percent) of all cryptor attacks in the three months covering Q3 2018, a rise of nearly two thirds from the same period last year.

WannaCry growth

WannaCry is still considered to be one of the biggest ransomware epidemics in history.

Despite the fact that Microsoft released a patch for Windows 10 to close the vulnerability exploited by EternalBlue two months before the start of the attacks, WannaCry still managed to affect hundreds of thousands of devices around the globe.

The attacks demonstrated the dangers that cryptors pose and while most PCs worldwide have been updated to resist the EternalBlue exploit, cybercriminals are still trying to exploit those computers that weren't patched.

“It is concerning to see that WannaCry attacks have grown by almost two thirds compared to the third quarter of last year," said David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

"This is yet another reminder that epidemics don’t cease as rapidly as they begin – the consequences of these attacks are unavoidably long-lasting. Cyber-attacks of this type can be so severe that it’s necessary for companies to take adequate preventive measures before a cyber-criminal acts – rather than focus on recovery.”

To avoid falling victim to WannaCry and other cryptors, Kaspersky Lab recommends updating your operating system frequently and having fresh backup copies of your files on hand so that you don't give into ransom demands by cybercriminals. 

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.