The recent “WannaCry” virus was a wake-up call about the havoc hackers can inflict. But is there an even more dangerous virus we should be concerned about?
On May 12, 2017, a global cyberattack hit over 200,000 computers across 150 countries around the world. The malicious software WannaCry spread from computer to computer, traversing the globe. When users tried to use their computers, they found a virus had infected them. The virus spread through their shared systems and then encrypted their computers’ data—locking the users out of their own computers.
At that point, it became ransomware (requesting a ransom to recover the data and regain control of the machine). The software communicated with its makers by a U.S. Navy protocol called TOR that anonymizes communications, making it almost impossible to track.
By noon, the ransomware attack had crippled the NHS (the U.K. National Health Service) resulting in a suspension of operations. It hit major corporations, including Spain’s Telefónica, France’s Renault and America’s FedEx.
A more sinister threat
This threat could have been much worse, and thankfully it was quickly stopped. It’s likely that much worse ransomware attacks will come in the future. But there is another virus that exists today that you and I should be even more concerned about. In fact, we are already infected with it, and it is fatal.
This virus is sin.
Just as viruses are written by malicious people trying to cause harm, sin has an originator whose purpose is to spiritually destroy humanity.Like many computer viruses, it spread from person to person and quickly. Consider how sin entered humanity: God placed Adam and Eve in a perfect and safe environment where all their needs were met—the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8). They had a direct relationship with God until the serpent enticed Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. Afterward, she convinced Adam to do the same. As a result, sin and death entered humanity and spread to their offspring—because they likewise sinned (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12).
Just as viruses are written by malicious people trying to cause harm, sin has an originator whose purpose is to spiritually destroy humanity—“the Devil and Satan” (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9). He is able to influence our minds through negative spiritual “frequencies” (Ephesians 2:2).
A kill switch
Luckily the WannaCry ransomware attack was easily stopped. A cyber analyst noticed that at the beginning of its attack, the WannaCry virus tried to access an obscure web address that did not exist. So he bought the address for $11 and activated it. This turned out to be the kill switch the hackers had planted in the code to stop the virus.
Is there a kill switch for sin?
Jesus Christ, God “manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16), lived a perfect sinless life even though He was tempted by sin (Hebrews 4:15). He was uninfected by sin and did not earn death. Yet He died anyway—taking the penalty for our sins upon Himself.
By His sacrifice, Christ provided the kill switch for sin and death. Unlike the $11 that was paid to put an end to the recent ransomware attack, the price that was paid to redeem us was the “precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). To learn more, read “Why Jesus Had to Die.”
Time for an upgrade?
Microsoft has warned this attack is a wake-up call and quickly released a security update that could have prevented this ransomware attack from the start.
God makes available the ultimate upgrade to fight “against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) and the virus he spreads—sin. This upgrade is God’s very power, the Holy Spirit.
To learn more about this power, read “What Is the Holy Spirit?”