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Deadline Hollywood reported that Disney CEO Bob Iger has gone to the FBI, rather than pay a huge amount of Bitcoins to the ransomware hackers to recover the latest Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. The first several episodes generated $3.75 billion at the box office.
The WannaCrypt virus, better known as “WannaCry,” worm-spread over the weekend at the rate of about 5,000 computers an hour. It exploited known vulnerabilities of servers running Microsoft software that had not been updated with the existing Windows Defender’s MS17-010 anti-virus security patch, or are so old they are no longer supported.
The WannaCry ransomware also exploits a Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) vulnerability developed by the U.S. National Security Agency and disclosed on Twitter last month by the infamous ShadowBrokers hacker auction site.
Cybersecurity Ventures estimated WannaCry-induced financial losses at about $4 billion, before Disney late last night confirmed to ABC employees that the movie was being held hostage. Hollywood’s other big media property caught up in the WannaCry ransomware hack is Netflix’s Orange is the New Black.
Huge corporations like Disney and Netflix employ very sophisticated security professionals and spend big bucks to license top-notch anti-virus software. But the thousands of financially struggling creative individuals, and hundreds of small specialized vendors, who service the media giants lack appropriate security tools, which is providing criminals with an open door to steal intellectual property treasures.
Despite estimated global corporate investment plans to spend $1 trillion on computer security over the next four years, annual cybercrime losses are expected to grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to a $6 trillion a year in 2021.
Global damage from the WannaCry virus was limited after a researcher at Malware Tech accidentally discovered a “kill switch” over the weekend.