LESSONS ON CYBER SECURITY: A CASE STUDY OF WANNACRY RANSOMWARE

  • K. Kiruri Department of Telecommunication and Information Engineering, School of Electrical, Electronics and Information Engineering, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
  • L. Kamau Department of Telecommunication and Information Engineering, School of Electrical, Electronics and Information Engineering, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Keywords: Encryption, cyber-security, cyber-attack

Abstract

We live in a connected world, where numerous devices are linked to each other through the internet. Communication is now easier, faster and cheaper than before. Many of our services have become digital. In spite of all the benefits that this brings, the internet makes us more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In 2017, an attack known as the WannaCry ransomware became the worst cyber-attacks in the world so far, hitting millions of computers globally and disrupting many services. This work analyses cyber-security vulnerabilities through a review and post analysis of the WannaCry ransomware. The analysis aims to examine the vulnerabilities in network security that hackers take advantage of. We hope to shed light on the various forms of cyber-crime and provide some practical solutions to enhance the security of users online.
This paper expounds on how WannaCry came to be, how hackers used it to cause havoc around the world, its effects, how it was stopped and how to prevent it in future. When the attack started spreading, it was so bad that in a span of 24 hours, it had led to the loss of billions of dollars as it paralyzed numerous companies worldwide. One of the worst-hit victims was the United Kingdom National Health Service, where it even resulted in the loss of lives as it incapacitated healthcare in the United Kingdom.
The losses from WannaCry were felt all over the world. It led to the loss of profit in many blue-chip countries across the world as well as losses in lost trading and operation time. Some computer systems were also damaged due to the ransomware leading to loss of crucial and confidential information. Other victims paid the ransom leading to the loss of over $140,000. The total losses from the attack were estimated to more than $4 billion.
By learning from our past, we can be better prepared for future attacks. The attack could have been avoided if the world took simple precautionary measures such as updating their computer systems. The attack could also be avoided by closing out default weaknesses within computer systems and locking out intruders. The goal of this paper is to take the lessons gained from WannaCry to better prepare for future attacks. Considering how dependent we are on the internet, from online banking to cloud storage and government processes, it is crucial to keep abreast with the attacks and avoid repeating old mistakes.

Published
2019-07-09