Everything You Need To Know About The Massive Worldwide Cyberattack “WannaCry”

by 10 months ago

morning brew

Here’s your hand-crafted, malware-free and totally safe Brew for May 15th.

QUOTE OF THE DAY“I haven’t accomplished anything I can be proud of in my 60 years on Earth. This is my chance” — SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, as he prepares to launch the Japanese firm’s $100 billion tech fund, one of the world’s largest, as early as this week.

Market Snapshot

Like a Sci-Fi Movie, But Real

A massive cyberattack called “WannaCry” has infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday—and it’s only going to get worse as people go back to work and boot up their Windows computers (with outdated software, that is).

Here’s a timelapse, for you visual Brewers.

Stolen NSA software likely fueled the ransomware attack, leaving systems at firms like FedEx (+0.43%) and Britain’s National Health Service useless until they paid the hackers.

So far, hackers have made off with about $20,000.


That’s all it took a 22-year-old college dropout-turned-cybersecurity expert to slow the attack.

It was too late for Europe and Asia—and won’t work on already-infected computers—but it saved the U.S. big time.

But, it’s not over.

All the hackers have to do is slightly change the code, and they’re back in business.

Still wondering why cyber security will be a $200 billion industry?

This weekend’s cyber siege is only the latest in a string of attacks. (Remember Ashley Madison? Or Target? Or Yahoo?) In 2015 alone, there were 1,211 total breaches and victims paid $24 million to hackers.

And within the world of ransomware (this type of attack), detections grew from virtually zero in 2014 to nearly half a million in 2016.

So…is anyone doing anything about it?


First, you have the startup community.

In 2016, there were a record high 404 cybersecurity funding deals (2015 had 378, if you’re wondering) with nine unicorn companies valued above $1 billion (most notably Okta).

A lot of specialized cybersecurity VC funds sprouted up as well.

Finally, you have the government.

President Trump, coincidentally, signed an executive order last week directing all government agencies to review their cybersecurity policies.

All of this, clearly a good step, but just as clearly, there is a longgg way to go.

Pour One Out

Heineken (+0.57%) said Friday it will introduce a new non-alcoholic beverage to its lineup: “Heineken 0.0.” The Dutch brewhouse is looking to drink-up some zero-alcohol beer market share, an industry that’s grown about 5% per year since 2010.

Don’t worry about your favorite brewski being swapped out for an O’Doul’s just yet. Heineken is only rolling out the new non-alcoholic brew in 17 countries in Europe and Asia.

If it can nail down a better taste (and we seriously hope it can), then it’s also poised to reap the benefits of the cheaper taxes on zero-ABV drinks. (Same top line, better bottom line.) So wipe the sweat off your forehead, kick back and enjoy a cold one.

Alphabet Hails Uber to Court

Against its will, Uber will face a jury in its ongoing fight with Alphabet’s (-0.08%) self-driving division, Waymo. The case all comes down to one man: Uber’s self-driving chief Anthony Levandowski, formerly a Google executive. This goes way back to January 2016, when Alphabet says he took 14,000 secret documents from Google to found autonomous-truck startup Otto.

Here’s where it gets tricky: Uber then acquired Otto in August for $680 million. Alphabet says Uber should have realized Levandowski’s theft during its due diligence of the acquisition.

A U.S. Attorney will have to accept the case first, but if a jury agrees with Alphabet, it could be the end of self-driving as Uber knows it.

Alexa, Order Me a Couch

Did you know that online furniture sales grew 18% in 2015? Well, Amazon (+1.45%) does. And with that growth continuing every day, the e-tailer is digging in with four new warehouses specifically for furniture.

The new-found space will help Amazon go after furniture industry giants like IKEA, Williams Sonoma (-2.62%) and Wayfair (-5.98%).

You do remember Wayfair, right?

It’s a start, but Amazon will need a dozen warehouses all across the country with 110 smaller facilities in order to guarantee two-day delivery on 99% of orders. Four down, 106 to go.

What Else Is Happening…

Economic Calendar

  • Friday (May 12): JCPenney (-) Earnings; Consumer Price Index (+); April Retail Sales (-)
  • Monday: Dole Foods, McGraw-Hill, Yeti Earnings; Housing Market Index
  • Tuesday: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Home Depot, Jack in the Box, Staples Earnings; Housing Starts; Industrial Production
  • Wednesday: Cisco, SteinMart, Target Earnings
  • Thursday: Wal-Mart, Autodesk, Gap, HHGregg, Perry Ellis, Ralph Lauren, Salesforce Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims
  • Friday: Campbell Soup, Deere & Co, Foot Locker Earnings

Water Cooler

Venezuela On the Brink of Collapse

Venezuela’s economic crisis is only getting worse. Inflation is running rampant, food and medicine are in short supply and citizens are fed up. The South American country owes $10 billion to bondholders—and it’s looking more and more like a default is inevitable.

One of the major players is Citgo, an oil refiner owned by the Venezuelan government. Here’s the situation:

  • In 2016, Venezuela committed the entirety of Citgo’s equity as collateral for bondholders—essentially telling bondholders they’d get Citgo equity in case of a Venezuelan default.
  • Here’s the problem: two years ago, Citgo reported its equity value at $8.3 billion, but many analysts believe that number is at least $3 billion lower today.
  • If the government does default, that will spark a vicious legal battle as bondholders fight over Citgo’s assets, which include the iconic Boston sign outside of Fenway Park.
  • Meanwhile, 40 people have been killed in skirmishes between protesters and police in the last six weeks.

The Breakroom

Interview Question of the Day

How many streetlamps are there in New York City?

While there is an actual estimate of this number, JPMorgan likes to ask candidates the question to see their market-sizing chops at work. (Here’s what they want to hear.)

Video of the Day

Last week, we told you about the ridiculous mountain of cash Apple (+1.40%) is sitting on. But can you visualize how big $250 billion actually is? We definitely couldn’t until we watched this nifty clip from Wired that puts Apple’s riches in scale.

Stat of the Day

$230 million — That’s how much cold hard cash Comcast-owned NBC Universal is paying for Craftsy, a startup that offers instructional art videos and mail-order craft supplies. The company has raised $103 million in venture capital so far.

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