What do you get when you combine stolen government hacking tools, an unpatched system, and shady operatives from North Korea? The answer is one seriously debilitating cyber attack. Using the now-infamous malware derivative known as ransomware, a malicious campaign known as wannacry built itself on the backs of previous threats, essentially modernizing the attack vector into something far more sinister, now known as a crypto worm. The world first became fully aware of malware’s nasty metamorphosis in 2013 when ransomware arrived on the scene to terrify the internet. Known as CryptoLocker, this type of ransomware set the stage for future attacks by restricting access to infected computers and demanding victims pay ransom to the attackers, preferably in the untraceable cryptocurrency of bitcoin. As the first big player in the ransomware game, it gave WannaCry a few key pointers to learn from.
By encrypting a user’s file without permission, CryptoLocker was able to extort money from executives who had never seen a data breach quite like it and became desperate to regain access to their information. When WannaCry appeared in 2017, it used these same methods as CryptoLocker, but with a much more nefarious purpose. Instead of holding the data