The 5 Weirdest WannaCry Ransomware Attack Victims
The WannaCry ransomware cyberattack that hit the globe on Friday, May 12 had companies around the world scrambling to update their security systems and Windows software.
It’s believed to be the largest online extortion ever carried out. But you might be surprised to learn about some of the weirdest WannaCry victims. (We know we were!)
It turns out, these hackers were out to infect any vulnerable device they could find, which includes South Korean movie theaters. Go figure.
Here are all the best deets on the most unsuspecting WannaCry victims we’ve identified to show that no matter your business size, profession, or industry, hackers always go for the easiest targets.
What is the WannCry ransomware attack?
The WannaCry ransomware attack was a malicious cyberattack that infected thousands of computers and devices around the world in 2017. The attack used a form of ransomware to encrypt data on victims’ machines, preventing them from accessing their files until a ransom was paid.
The 5 Weirdest WannaCry Victims
While hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the WannaCry ransomware attack, there were a few that stand out as particularly strange including German trains, Asian universities & schools, FedEx shipping, shopping mall kiosks, and South Korean movie theatre chains.
WannaCry attacks German trains – Deutsche Bahn
German commuters and travelers had an unanticipated travel delay once WannaCry infected the German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn.
Some electronic signs announcing arrival and departure information were infected with the ransomware and remained unusable as the network worked to resolve the hack.
With no access to their network, a few stations resorted to using chalkboards for arrival and departure info. (Here’s hoping Grand Central took note and upgraded their security systems so we never endure this chalk-fueled fiasco…)
WannaCry attacks Asian universities and schools
Asia was one of the regions that experienced the most WannaCry-related cyberattacks. Out of the 40,000 institutions infected, around 4,000 of them were universities or schools.
This means that the real WannaCry victims in these cases were students, many of whom reported being locked out of their thesis papers and dissertation presentations.
A majority of the students affected never regained access to years worth of work. It definitely counts as wacky, but it’s also a nightmare we don’t wish on even our worst enemy.
WannaCry attacks FedEx
FedEx, one of the only U.S.-based businesses infected, makes this wacky list as well.
The global shipping company reported interference with some of their electronic delivery systems which forced them to suspend their money-back guarantees for packages set for delivery on Saturday, May 13.
(Bye bye guaranteed delivery dates!) Since the WannaCry cyberattack was launched the weekend of Mother’s Day, it looks like some Mother’s Day shipments didn’t make it to their destination on time. (PSA to ALL Moms: maybe the delay really wasn’t your kid’s fault this year?)
WannaCry attacks shopping mall kiosks
MediaOnline, an operator of digital displays in Singapore shopping malls, figured out they were one of the WannaCry victims when some of their kiosks in two malls began displaying the ransomware’s pop-up window.
Talk about awkward since no one wants to be caught advertising the ransomware that has attacked the entire globe. It took some work, but the firm finally got its kiosks back under control.
All mall patrons will now know exactly where to go, how to get there and be able to do some choice window shopping. (Phew! We were worried for a second there.)
WannaCry attacks South Korean movie theaters
Meanwhile, over in South Korea, consumers were rejoicing over the hack of CJ CGV Co., one of the country’s largest movie-theater chains. I
t turns out that WannaCry hackers actually did the moviegoers a favor by hacking the ad server and making it unable to play ads before the start of films at 30 locations.
Because who really wants to sit through movie trivia, five coca-cola ads, and seven reminders not to text during the movie? Not us.
In a predictable turn of events, the chain reported ticket sales were not affected. (Our bet is they went up.)
Looking ahead after the WannaCry virus
While these WannaCry victims are pretty weird, they are evidence of a very real threat facing anyone who owns a laptop, computer, or smartphone.
Hackers target vulnerable devices and susceptible software regardless of business size, industry, or geo-location.
As more and more companies, institutions, and national organizations turn to the cloud and other software solutions to store sensitive data, the number of cyberattacks increases.
A few ways to stay protected from ever-evolving cyber threats are to implement proper cybersecurity training for your employees, hire skilled cybersecurity experts in your IT department, and ensure your software, devices, and systems are up-to-date with the latest security patches.
If you lack the cybersecurity talent you need to protect against cyberattacks like the WannaCry ransomware hack, contact Mondo today. We’ll match you with the IT experts you need to keep your sensitive data and network secure.
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