June 27, 2018
Action Fraud is alerting of a new phishing campaign using the notorious WannaCry ransomware attack of May 2017 as a trap.
The UK’s national cybercrime reporting center declared on Friday that it had already obtained 300 reports over the preceding two days regarding the cheat electronic mails.
“The WannaCry electronic mails are designed to create terror and deceive you into trusting that your computer is infected with WannaCry ransomware,” it said in a warning.
“In reality, the electronic mails are just a phishing exercise to attempt and extract money. The electronic mails assert that all of your appliances were hacked and your files will be erased unless you pay a penalty to the impostors in Bitcoin.”
It is now more than a year since the ransomware struck throughout the world, infecting over 250,000 computers in 150 republics. In the UK it was extensively exposed, having interrupted more than a third of the NHS Trusts and 600 GP practices, producing the annulment of an approximated 19,000 appointments and surgeries.
For that reason, Action Fraud has been called upon a number of times already since May 2017 to alert UK citizens of cheats using WannaCry as bait — even though most occurred in the weeks after the initial outbreak.
In mid-May previous year, a BT-branded phishing electronic mail insisted users click through to verify a safety update ‘carried out’ by the telco to safeguard them after WannaCry.
Then a week later a new tech support cheat appeared after reports of pop-ups appearing on users’ PCs.
“One sufferer fell for the cheat after phoning a ‘help’ number publicized on a pop-up window. The window which would not close said the sufferer had been affected by WannaCry Ransomware,” said Action Fraud.
“The victim allowed the impostors distant access to their PC after being persuaded there was not adequate anti-virus safety. The impostors then fixed Windows Malevolent Software Removal Tool, which is really free and took £320 as a fee.”