The WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks have had a massive impact globally. The attacks hit in May and June, respectively, causing devastation at many of the world’s largest companies, including advertising firm WPP and pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. in the U.S., consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser in England and DLA Piper, a multinational law firm. Meanwhile, mystery concerning the perpetrators and operation of the malware outbreaks remains. Nonetheless, the scale of the cyberattacks has driven many companies to learn more about the technicalities of the attacks as well as how they can protect their networks in the future.
Despite sharing similarities, including both being mislabeled as ransomware variants initially, WannaCry and Petya have some core differences that are essential to understanding their operation and mitigating their threat. Perhaps the biggest and, in some cases, most surprising difference between the two forms of malware is that Petya is not ransomware — it’s wiper malware. This makes it far more destructive than its true ransomware counterpart, WannaCry. Here’s why:
The aftermath of these two history-making malware attacks is still unfolding. As more details come to light about the sources and operations of each cyberattack, companies and IT teams have a tremendous opportunity to ready their networks for future threats — or dangerous reoccurrences of WannaCry and Petya. Preparation starts with the right proactive insight.
Check out our malware FAQ sheet now to learn best practices for preventing the next global cyberattack.