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WannaCry Ransomware attack: Hoax Vs Facts

It’s been some time now that our WhatsApp inboxes, messengers, Twitter handles and other social media sites are swarmed with messages with different types of possible threats which the much-in-spotlight WannaCry Ransomware might bring on. With the already hyped cyber threat and the chaos it has created across the web, isn’t it a bit too harsh if someone takes extra measure to create unnecessary chaos which might not be true?

Yes, let’s talk about the hoax that’s disturbing us since few days, and I am sure many of you are not even sure if they are true or not. If someone is really skeptical to receive a video with Hilary dancing (if the name itself isn’t weird enough!), few are making others beware of some threatening calls from a god-knows-whose number! If that wasn’t enough, people are busy withdrawing money from ATM as there is susceptible chance of the same remaining shut for the upcoming few days. Not only that, but several online transactions over payment gateways and online sites have come to a halt due to the same reason.

For all those, like us, who have been flooded with different suggestions not to click on a particular link or video, or not to pick a call from such and such number and to be aware of ATMs shutting down – please make a note – don’t panic over WannaCry Ransomware cyber-attack and don’t pay heed to these hoaxes.

The cyber-attack has created enough havoc across the world since a week, and despite being real it has created less chaos than those created on the web due to some fraudulent social media posts and messengers. As a matter of fact, more than the actual attack of the WannaCry Ransomware, which held to ransom millions of computers and businesses worldwide demanding ransom to be paid in bitcoins worth $300 to unlock the data, it is the hoax creating more panic among users.

Hence, here we go, with a list of hoaxes and their factual clarifications:

1. Hoax: ATMs are shut down for the next 2-3 days until they are patched and safe.
Fact: RBI has issued clarification that they haven’t issued such orders.

2. Hoax: Don’t use ATMs and avoid do any online transaction
Fact: Any computer system infected with Ransomware would display the message that it has been infected, and hence you can decide whether or not to continue working on the same.

3. Hoax: Don’t open any Shopping cart.
Fact: Servers that are infected with Ransomware wouldn’t open at all. Shopping carts do not store Ransomware. However, it’s advisable to make sure that these executable are scanned by an antivirus while browsing and downloading software.

4. Hoax: Except Africa all countries IT companies are hacked.
Fact: Do we actually need to explain this? Did any trusted sources report about these? Nope.

5. Hoax: ‘Dance of the Hillary’ video
Fact: There is no such video existing!! And did anyone of us receive any video with a name on WhatsApp? Tell us that first!

6. Hoax: Power off smart TVs, tablets, and every other smart device. Turn off Bluetooth, WiFi, tethering on your mobile phones. Switch off your servers, disconnect LAN cable plugging computers or laptops in the network. In short, be a Zombie!!!
Fact: This simply means that we should lead the life of an ascetic. Give us a break.

The only fact, and threatening at that, remains the ransomware has affected 50,000 computers all over 75 countries that include India. The WannaCry ransomware affects the computer systems and asks the user to pay a ransom of $300 in Bitcoins to restore access to the systems or its data – beware of just that, and nothing else.

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