The WannaCry Virus
Over the weekend, the world experienced one of the most severe ransomware outbreaks (named WannaCry) in history, with businesses of all sizes in over 150 countries impacted. Most notably, the Russian Central Bank and Germany’s railway system were both hacked by this newest outbreak. This Malware virus is gaining access to computers through a weakness in outdated versions of Windows. Although Windows released a patch, those who neglected to install the fix fell victim to the hack.
When the virus hits, it locks down every file on your computer and will not release them until you pay the hackers money via Bitcoin. This virus is spreading fast and can attack vulnerable computers without you clicking on a spam link.
So here are the critical questions for your business:
- Do you have a backup and disaster recovery system in place?
- Is your software up-to-date?
- How’s your antivirus?
- Is your Microsoft patched?
This is just the beginning of ransomware attacks in 2017.
How Ransomware Works
Viruses and Malware almost always start with end user interaction. Be careful what you click on when going through your email. We all receive phony or phishy emails despite the spam and virus filtering we have in place.
Just take a few extra seconds BEFORE clicking on a link in email to verify it’s what you are expecting. “CLICK HERE” might not take you where you expect. Always hover your mouse over the link to see where it’s taking you and slow down while you read it.
When seeing a link to JD Young you should see:
If you hover and see:
However, it won’t always be that obvious. You might see something like –http://www.jdyoung.qxz? The bad guys are trying to trick you, so check the link carefully.
Remember the stranger danger lessons we teach our kids. The Internet is full of strangers and plenty of dangers.
What is ransomware?
- Ransomware is a type of virus/malware that encrypts your files and forces you to pay a ransom to unencrypt the files.
How can I protect my home computer?
- Microsoft issued a patch for this vulnerability in March. If you update your Windows and get the latest patches you should be protected. However, new viruses and ransomware are created all the time.
The only way to be 100% sure you don’t lose your files is to backup to another form of media. We recommend backing up your computer twice.
- To a connected hard drive
- To a disconnected hard drive at another location.