You may have heard about the large cyber attack that affected computers all over the world on May 12, 2017, known as “Wanna Cry” (also known as “Wanna Crypt” and by other names). This affected universities, hospitals, and companies large and small all over the world (including our friends over at Fedex). It is estimated to be the largest known “cyber attack” ever.
What is it?
Wanna Cry is an example of a new class of cyber attack known as “ransomware”. Previously, widespread viruses, worms, and other malware were troublesome, but difficult for the creators to profit from without being caught. However, the anonymous “cryptocurrency” Bitcoin makes it easy to receive electronic payments with little risk for the criminals involved. Currently, ransomware that infects your system will encrypt your hard drive, making your files inaccessible until the ransom is paid. In the case of Wanna Cry, the cost is $300 (in Bitcoin), $600 after 72 hours, and after 7 days, the computer can no longer be decrypted.
Like any software, it has to be installed, but Wanna Cry used a vulnerability in various versions of Windows to spread automatically (this is called a “worm”). Computers running MacOS, Linux, and mobile devices are unaffected. Fairly quickly, this was disabled, though variants have been seen that are still capable of spreading.
Aside from locking out a computer, there seems to be no risk to any data on those systems.
Wanna Cry isn’t a problem if you keep your computer regularly updated – the fix for this was already released in March 2017. If you are infected, it should prove to be only a minor inconvenience if you regularly backup your computer – just restore your computer. There are a number of options for backing up and restoring your computer, from external drives you plugin to online backup services. (Refund Retriever has no affiliation with any companies or services in this industry.)
How does this affect Refund Retriever?
Refund Retriever has made technical expertise, and our security, a top priority. Our information architecture is fully redundant and secure. None of our architecture relies on any of the systems that were compromised by Wanna Cry. All of your information is 100% safe and secure.
What about Fedex?
Fedex was impacted, affecting their Express service hub’s operations. Per the FedEx Service Guide, these types of outages waive their money-back guarantee during the affected period. They issued a Service Alert indicating Express packages to be delivered on May 13, 2017, were ineligible for refunds if delivered late. However, outside of these emergency blacked-out dates, there is no risk to your Fedex account information stored on Refund Retriever, and we are auditing all Fedex shipments normally.