Last week, people around the world were in panic mode over WannaCry ransomware. The attack infected hundreds of thousands of computers in over 150 countries.
Many people who noticed a slowing of their computer system thought that they had been victimized by WannaCry. In reality, they were victims of an even larger cyberattack that is more widespread than WannaCry.
Why Adylkuzz hack could be worse than WannaCry
What we're talking about is malware called Adylkuzz. Proofpoint researchers discovered that criminals behind this malware are using the same leaked NSA tools that the WannaCry ransomware used to attack Windows machines.
With Adylkuzz, instead of locking the victims' computer with ransomware, the malware turns infected computers into a botnet of "miners," funneling large sums of digital currency.
Adylkuzz runs in the background without the victim knowing their gadget has been infected. It steals the computers' power and slows the system down, while the malware "mines" for the virtual currency Monero, which is similar to Bitcoin. Victims can also lose access to shared Windows resources.
One reason cybercriminals spread malware like this is to keep their illegal activity hidden from authorities. Criminals use Monero to buy and sell things like drugs, counterfeit items and stolen credit cards on the Dark Web. By setting up a botnet of infected gadgets, criminals generate digital currency through the victims' machine, making the process virtually untraceable back to the criminal.
What you need to do immediately
The Adylkuzz hack has been spreading since at least May 2, 2017, but could have begun as early as April 24. As we said earlier, the malware exploits leaked NSA tools like EternalBlue to infect victims' gadgets. Cybercriminals have at least 20 servers across the globe that are continually searching for computers that are vulnerable.
The good news is, Microsoft released an update in March that fixes this flaw so it is CRITICAL that you have your Windows up to date. The bad news is, older versions of Windows operating systems are no longer supported and do not receive these critical Security Updates. However, Microsoft released an emergency patch for its no-longer supported operating systems after the WannaCry outbreak.
If you are running an older, unsupported version of Windows, click here to download the available Security Update.
You also need to make sure that your gadget's operating system is updated regularly. Click here to learn how to have security updates installed automatically. It's also a good idea to have strong security software on all of your gadgets to stay protected from digital threats.