Essay on petya ransomware and its impacts

Free 780 words essay on petya ransomware and its impacts for school and college students.

After WannaCry sent the world into a frenzy, Petya is the newest ransomware to be doing the rounds right now. The United Kingdom and Europe in general has been the most affected by the ransomware, so far, and major firms such as the Mondelez, Moller-Maersk, DLA piper, and WPP have been affected, among many others. Thankfully, the NHS has been spared this time, so far at least. Despite the hue and cry, not many people know much about the Petya ransomware. In this article, let us see what the Petya is, what it does, and how it is affecting the systems across the world.

free essay on petya ransomware and its impacts


But first, let us see what a ransomware like Petya is.

In simple terms, it is a malware. Like any other malware, it accesses a system and blocks down its files, thus effectively shutting down the system until the malware is removed. However, unlike other malware, formatting the system is not an option for removing it. Any ransomware, like the Petya, shuts down the system and demands money, and uninstalls itself and unblocks the system only after said money is paid in BitCoins. Petya itself asks for $300. So, it is like the programming version of a kidnapper; it keeps your system hostage until its demands are met. Once you pay the money, Petya will send you a digital key which you can use to unlock the files.

So how exactly is it affecting the world?

Compromised security

To begin with, Petya is of course compromising security all over the world. Once it affects a vulnerable system, it immediately spreads itself to all other systems connected to the attacked computer. For this reason, despite the fact that Europe has been the most affected, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in India has been affected by Petya, thanks to the fact that its Gateway Terminals were being operated by Moller-Maersk, one of the firms that have been impacted the most. As can be seen from this instance, security is being compromised across the world, if not directly, then through connected systems. Compromised security obviously means a huge monetary threat; no one knows when banks are going to be affected.

Disrupted systems

In the current world, computers handle a lot of the work, forming an important and integral part of the workforce. Computers within an organization are mostly linked together for better access and backup. So, since the Petya ransomware needs to affect only one vulnerable machine to shut down all the systems, this leads to a major breakdown in processes. Choosing to pay $300 is not a big decision in terms of money, but there is the question of ethics and complying with crime. Naturally, it takes time for any organization to come to any decision regarding the issue, during which time important processes are completely stalled. Besides, there is also the fear of the unknown; since no one knows how the Petya ransomware actually works, no one can be sure of what it is doing for as long as it is there in the system.

Improved security

Random attacks by ransomwares, including Petya, are definitely compelling cyber security providers to pull their game up by few notches. Both Symantec and Kaspersky are claiming that their new products are capable of spotting and stopping the malware. This means increased sales of cyber security softwares, and even more takers of Microsoft’s patch that prevents Petya from attacking through the EternalBlue vulnerability.

More awareness

More and more attacks by ransomwares are certainly making people a lot more aware of the threats that the cyber world can pose. For instance, people are being told to keep backups of their files, and not to keep any sensitive data on their computers. It is advisable to log out of your mails and apps every time they are used, since the malware will affect synced devices. Hackers are hard at work to find out ways to avoid these attacks and secure sensitive files. For instance, a post by Hacker Fantastic asks you to power off your system as soon as you see the message from the malware, as this is the encryption process, and powering off the system secures the computer.

The Petya is bad news, but there is a silver lining. For instance, researchers are saying that it would be easier for to stop Petya than WannaCry. Moreover, Petya is also apparently likely to spread much less than WannaCry. Of course, there is also the disturbing fact that no one yet knows how Petya works or who is behind it. But it can be hoped that things will look up soon, and new updates in softwares will stop such attacks from happening in the future.

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