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@Mikko On What Went Down with WannaCry

Jason Sattler

19.05.17 2 min. read

Like most of us, Mikko Hypponen doesn’t WannaCry. But he did use his keynote speech at our annual SPECIES conference to give the audience a peak into “what really happened” with the largest crypto-ransomware outbreak in history.

Drawing on his over 25 years in the business of hunting hackers, F-Secure’s chief research officer offered his perspective on WCry/WannaCry/Wana Decrypt0r, right as the threat was cresting in Asia and just two days shy of a week after the threat first hit. Timing matters for this story because WannaCry told its victims they had 7-days to pay or “you won’t be able to recover your files forever.”

SPOILER ALERT: You will learn a crucial detail from the movie The Interview.

In addition to walking you through exactly how WannaCry spread, Mikko offers insight into the ransomware explosion of the last half decade, how old operating systems and leaked government exploits enabled the attack and how this threat connects to the “megatrend” of virtual currencies. You’ll also learn about the unlikely hero who “saved” much of the world from the outbreak, why malware generally “refuses to infect” most machines in Russia and how F-Secure was able to block WannaCry with our automatic detection systems.

The entire speech is worth your — and your data’s — time. 

Listen closely for a pretty great joke about hospital records, if you’re into that. There’s also some cool stuff about dishwashers with web servers, the one retail company that seems to be doing IoT security right and the missing piece of your connected home.

Want to know even more about WannaCry?

F-Secure Labs’ Jarno Niemelä looked into what’s unique and familiar about this malware explosion and F-Secure Principal Security Consultant Tom Van de Wiele offered some lessons businesses must learn from this very un-targeted yet “weapons-grade” attack.

And here are Mikko’s four basic tips for protecting your security and privacy online.



Jason Sattler

19.05.17 2 min. read


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