The day in March this year when the WannaCry malware appeared on the scene, I downloaded a sample of the file from a well-known malware sample site, Virustotal, and put our software to test.

Check Point’s SandBlast Agent monitors the computer for malicious activity and behaviour, as well as bulk file encryption, amongst other things. To give SandBlast Agent the worst chance of success I could, I downloaded the sample and then disconnected my virtual PC from the Internet. This meant that there was no possibility of cheating by knowing the malware fingerprint (file hash).

So, assuming I was a user who had received a file – maybe from a friend who had also been compromised or through a phishing email – I thought: “Lets run the file; what’s the worst that can happen?”

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As you can see, in just a few seconds, something starts to take over the computer; my data files start disappearing and new files, with strange names replace them.

At this point, SandBlast Agent comes to the rescue; it detects this malicious activity, terminates the malicious file, preventing it carrying out any further bad activity, and finds all the files that have been deleted.

Now for the cool bit – SandBlast Agent was monitoring my computer for changes to my files, so, each file that it found was encrypted, it goes to a special folder which only Check Point can access, and gives me a copy of the file it backed up!

For the more technical out there, there’s a forensics report, that shows what the malicious file did; this is so you can make improvements to your security within your organisation. But, that’s for those that are interested; the user can just relax, in the knowledge they are safe, and their data is intact.

Tom Kendrick is a European threat prevention security engineer at Check Point Technologies.