The WannaCry 2.0 ransomware is turning out to be one of the biggest security threats of recent times. It has spread in over 150 countries and affected more than 200,000 computers. This situation could’ve been avoided if the users had downloaded Windows security patch released in March. Well, you can still download the update and follow some basic safety measures to keep yourself away from such attacks.
Ransomware has seen an abrupt rise in the recent years, and the present-day developments are only making this threat more infamous. If you love to keep yourself updated with the latest developments in the tech world, you might have heard about the notorious WannaCry ransomware, which is locking down people’s computers. It also goes by the other names like WannaDecrypt0r, WCry, and Wanna Decryptor.
What is WannaCry Ransomware?
More than 150 countries have been affected by WannaCry ransomware, which exploits EternalBlue vulnerability and uses phishing emails. The NSA was the first to discover this flaw, and it was made public by ShadowBrokers in April. After taking over a computer, WannaCry locks down the machine and asks for about $300 as a ransom. If the user fails to pay the ransom, the price increases with time.
Microsoft did release a patch for this leaked vulnerability in April, but many computer users and network administrators didn’t update their systems. As a result, they are at risk.
How to Prevent Getting WannaCry and Other Ransomware
This malware is primarily impacting businesses and spreading through their network to control an entire company. But, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is safe.
So, if you’re using a computer which runs Windows operating system, you must take a few precautionary steps.
It is incredibly important to do the following:
- Always make sure that you install the latest updates & patches for your operating system, especially Microsoft Windows.
- Make sure you have an up to date anti-virus program running on your computer.
- Do not click on links or attachments in email unless you are 100% certain it is legitimate and that you have requested it. If you are not sure about a hyperlink or attachment contact the sender directly to ask about it.
- Do not visit questionable able websites.
- When you are browsing website be certain to read carefully any dialog box that pops up before clicking on it.
Last but not the least, make sure that you run a backup of your system files regularly. If your PC gets infected and your important files are encrypted, you can get them later.
While Microsoft quickly issued fixes for the latest versions of Windows last month, this left Windows XP unprotected. Many of the machines attacked today have been breached simply because the latest Windows updates have not been applied quickly enough, but there are still organizations that continue to run Windows XP despite the risks. Microsoft is now taking what it describes as a “highly unusual” step to provide public patches for Windows operating systems that are in custom support only. This includes specific fixes for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. You can read my report about this here.
If you want to learn more you can read many of my ransomware related articles here.