About WannaCry

Maybe you have heard of WannaCry, and are wondering what is going on with this type of ransomware attack.

Let’s start with some definitions:


Ransomware is malicious software that locks or encrypts files on an infected computer or server. Attackers demand payments, often in Bitcoin, to “ransom” the locked files. However, even if the ransom is paid, regaining access to files is very unlikely.


WannaCry is one of the largest ransomware attacks of all time, reportedly affecting 200,000 victims in 150 countries. Organizations are a primary target, and many hospitals in Europe are victims. The virus attacks a flaw in the Windows operating system found by the NSA, and then leaked by a group of hackers. In response, Microsoft has released a patch for the vulnerability.

How the attack spreads

Phishing emails with malicious links spread WannaCry, and visiting rogue or unsecure websites also can infect a system.

How Spirit of Alaska is responding

The best defense against a ransomware attack is a good backup system, which Spirit of Alaska has in place. Additionally, we work hard to protect our data and systems through:

  • Maintaining a web filter capable of detecting malicious websites
  • Maintaining up-to-date virus protection on all computers
  • Keeping systems patched and up-to-date
  • Monitoring all network traffic
  • Conducting frequent security awareness training and social engineering tests for computer users.

We have also taken steps to protect our systems specifically against a ransomware type attack.