Run your Windows Updates, and DO NOT OPEN unsolicited emails. Failure to do so may result in a very dangerous strain of ransomware that could infect your entire network and spread to your clients, partners, and prospects….and make you cry.
Very recently, a nasty ransomware worm variant dubbed ‘WannaCry’ struck critical systems all around the world. While Microsoft has addressed and temporarily stopped the threat, it is VERY far from over, especially for users who don’t keep their computers updated.
The quickness & severity of this cyberattack is something we do not want to downplay.
May 12, 2017:
- Early Friday morning- WannaCry spread to 11 countries within just a few hours.
- End of day Friday- Over 45,000 attacks in 99 countries
- Monday- Over 150 countries plagued by this attack
There’s No Specific Target
- Companies seemed to be hit at random, including utility companies, telecommunications, electrical, and gas companies.
- WannaCry caused serious trouble in England’s healthcare systems, leading to massive numbers of non-critical patients being sent home or turned away at hospital doors.
- Russia found that thousands of its interior ministry computers had been infected.
- In the US, FedEx found their system corrupted, and these are just the big highlights.
Businesses everywhere went dark as a result of this attack.
How did they find it?
The security company, Malwarebytes, first made the discovery. Their Director of Malware Intelligence, Adam Kujawa, stated, “The spread is immense. I’ve never seen anything before like this. This is nuts!”
How Do I Prevent WannaCry?
- Get the latest updates & patches. This is critical.
- Evaluate your computer and network security, and educate employees on basic best practices like not downloading and opening unsolicited attachments.
- It’s also critical that your files are backed up securely. If ransomware infects your network, it makes your files inaccessible unless you pay the ransom which only feeds into the problem. Utilizing an offsite backup solution that can easily be restored is the only way to go.
Step to Protect Yourself from Ransomware:
- PATCH! PATCH! PATCH! Patch your PC with the latest Microsoft update to prevent attacks.
- Do not open an email from someone you do not know.
- Be aware of links you are clicking on within emails.
- Research the organization that emailed you before you open files.
- Have secure backups-offsite backup easily restores your data
- BE SMART, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
I’m Updated, am I Still at Risk?
There is also the risk that WannaCry is still waiting on some systems that have not been used since the attack began, so this initial attack is still far from over.
WARNING: Any PC on your network that gets infected could infect the rest.
Plus, even with the patch, a user could accidentally download an infected file. It’s also possible that those behind WannaCry will devise a workaround to the patch. Therefore, you should always be mindful as you review your incoming email and do your best to protect your network with managed IT security solutions and backing up your files.
What If I’ve Been Infected by WannaCry?
Contact us at (206) 340-1616 immediately. Under no circumstance should you attempt to pay the ransom.
If you haven’t been targeted, count your blessings. That said, it’s time to start thinking about having your IT managed and maintained to prevent issues like this.
Contact Emerald City Solutions at (206) 340-1616 and ask how we can help prevent business-crippling issues and security threats like WannaCry.