WanaCrypt Ransomware Soars to Almost 30% of Ransomware Threats Worldwide

wannacrypt ransomware popular threat worldwideWanaCrypt Ransomware, or what some have recently called WannaCryptor, WanaCrypt0r, WannaCryptor, WannaCry, WCry, or WNCry, infiltrated tens of thousands of computers around the world within the first few hours of its existence. About 100 countries have been the brunt of a ransomware attack that is leaving Windows-based computers locked due to file encryption. The proliferation of WanaCrypt ransomware is swift and continues to be a major nuisance for many hospitals, government entities, large corporations, and personal computers.

While computer users around the globe are in a haste to either remedy the WanaCrypt ransomware issue or prevent it from overtaking their own system, the outlook remains bleak as there are no signs of the threat slowing down. ESG reports that WanaCrypt infections are slowing but believes that the effect is only temporary.

"Not only has ransomware become one of the most dangerous types of malware in existence, but new threats like WanaCrypt have evolved to spread faster than any other threat of this nature," said ESG spokesperson Ryan Gerding. "The perpetrators behind WanaCrypt are cunning to leverage a vulnerability within Microsoft Window, which is the most popular type of operating system in the world."

Below are some quick stats on the rapid growth of the WanaCrypt ransomware across the globe, according to infection data from SpyHunter.

  • In just one 24 hour period, the WanaCrypt ransomware went from zero infections worldwide to 29% of all ransomware infections.
  • The countries hardest hit by the WanaCrypt ransomware are:
    • Russia 52% of global infections
    • Taiwan 16% of global infections
    • Ukraine 10% of global infections
    • India 5% of global infections
    • United States 5% of global infections
  • There may be signs that the WanaCrypt infections are slowing, if only temporarily. After hitting a high on Friday May 12th, global infections on May 14th had dropped 67%. This may be due to British malware researchers who learned how to activate a "kill switch" for the infection. But there is concern that new versions may be released soon.

While the outbreak of infections has primarily been in overseas, ESG can confirm a number of U.S. cities have computers that have been infected by WanaCrypt. Below is a list of cities where at least one infection has been detected since the outbreak began a few days ago:

  • Alabama:
    • Birmingham
  • California:
    • Anaheim
    • Sacramento
    • Lake Forest
    • Santa Clara
    • San Jose
    • Oakland
    • Los Angeles
    • Cost Mesa
    • San Diego
    • Daily City
    • Folsom
  • Colorado:
    • Lone Tree
  • Georgia:
    • Atlanta
  • Louisiana:
    • Lafayette
  • Missouri:
    • Caruthersville
  • New York:
    • New York City
  • North Carolina:
    • Whiteville
  • Pennsylvania:
    • Southampton
    • Bethel Park
  • Texas:
    • McAllen
    • Dallas
    • Tyler
  • Utah:
    • Orem
  • Virginia:
    • Chantilly
  • Washington:
    • Kenmore
    • Seattle

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