A global cyber attack using WannaCrypt ransomware worm hit 74 countries, infecting hospitals, businesses, universities and other organizations.
Because of the massive impact, Microsoft took the unusual step of patching older unsupported operating systems to include Windows XP and Windows 2003.
The malware strain is also known as WanaCrypt or Wanna.Cry and encrypts victim’s files until the ransom is paid.
The malware has been spreading rapidly by exploiting the SMB file sharing vulnerability that was patched by Microsoft via MS17-010 back in March of this year.
Microsoft also issued “defense-in-depth” guidance to help mitigate the threat to include keeping anti-virus up to date (e.g., Windows Defender updates) and blocking legacy protocols on your networks.
A good report that further describes the gravity of the WannaCrypt attack was published by The Register earlier this morning.