NHS Agency Successfully Fought Back WannaCry Ransomware with Darktrace

Break-through AI Technology Detects and Contains WannaCry Attack at NHS Agency Before Damage is Inflicted

Cambridge, UK
Monday May 15, 2017

Darktrace, the leader in Enterprise Immune System technology, has announced today that a number of its customers, including an NHS agency, successfully detected and contained a WannaCry ransomware attack on their networks on Friday with Darktrace’s break-through AI technology for cyber defense, which spotted the threat within minutes.

The WannaCry malware attack is unprecedented in scale and has affected over 200,000 devices across 150 countries according to Europol, including the UK’s National Health Service, Spain’s Telefonica and FedEx in the US. Spread by a pernicious email attachment and supercharged by a worm, the stealthy malware encrypts files, with cyber criminals demanding ransom before users can regain access to their data. Traditional security tools that use rules and signatures to stop cyber-threats at the border fell short in the face of this never-seen-before and fast-spreading malware.

Unlike the old attempts to keep malware at bay, the Enterprise Immune System is a pioneering, machine-learning technology capable of detecting and fighting back against stealthy ‘unknown unknowns’, such as WannaCry, automatically and in real time. Modeled after the most powerful biological system, the human immune system, the disruptive technology leverages advances in mathematics and machine learning, to learn the normal ‘pattern of life’ of every user and device on a network. Antigena, its automatic response technology, acts as a digital antibody, taking proportionate, remedial action to neutralize emerging threats. For example, it can slow down or stop a compromised connection or device, but does not impact normal business operations.

Darktrace’s AI technology alerted its affected customers as soon as the first signs of WannaCry emerged on their networks and as the malware was attempting to spread laterally across the respective organizations. The infection was successfully contained before it had inflicted any damage, proving the fundamental power of the Enterprise Immune System.

“At Darktrace we catch and contain ransomware every week,” commented Nicole Eagan, CEO at Darktrace. “WannaCry bypassed traditional security defenses proving them futile in this new era of cyber warfare. Security teams cannot face this challenge without the right tools in place. Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System is a true manifestation of AI in action: detecting and stopping threats before the human teams have even had time to notice.”

If you are concerned about ransomware attacks, please contact Darktrace experts for an executive briefing this week by emailing or calling +44 (0) 20 7930 1350, +65 8418 9907, or +1 415 229 9100.

About Darktrace

Darktrace is the world’s leading machine learning company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, the Enterprise Immune System uses AI algorithms to automatically detect and take action against cyber-threats within all types of networks, including physical, cloud and virtualized networks, as well as IoT and industrial control systems. A self-configuring platform, Darktrace requires no prior set-up, identifying advanced threats in real time, including zero-days, insiders and stealthy, silent attackers. Headquartered in San Francisco and Cambridge, UK, Darktrace has 24 offices worldwide.