On Friday one of the most massive ransomware attacks started. This is currently affecting 200,000 computers, in 99 countries. the majority of the attacks targeted eastern europe and asia. but global firms like Fedex and U.K. Hospitals have also been affected. Computers in Lancaster, PA have also been affected. This is a globally occurring attack and not limited to any area of the world. This week it is widely expected to affect more devices and users as employees return to work from the weekend. The virus takes control of users' files and demands $300 payments to restore access.
The Ransomware was called "WannaCry" and was based on an exploit leaked from the NSA as part of a massive data dump last month. Europol has released a statement declaring this attack was of an "unprecedented level and requires international investigation." WannaCry is the most high-profile example of a type of attack that analysts have been predicting would surge in 2017 after a substantial uptick in such attacks last year.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is defined as "a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to block access to a computer system until a ransom is paid," according to a 2016 U.S. Department of Homeland Security blog post.
What is Being Done
Windows has already patched the vulnerability on supported verisions, as well as releasing a patch for the no longer supported windows XP. The fact that microsoft has patched a discontinued version of Windows is indicative of the severity of the attack.
What Do You Need to Do
- Exercise caution when opening email attachments. Be particularly wary of compressed or ZIP file attachments.
- if you have not already updated your windows device, we strongly encourage updating your device to the latest available patch.
- Ensure your devices are backed up if you don't have back ups call 717-993-4693 to get them set up. Back ups on essential systems should have several iterations retained for fall back
- If you experience an Ransomware attack at your business call us immediately
- Be careful when clicking directly on links in emails, even if the sender appears to be known; attempt to verify web addresses independently
- If you still are running windows XP we strongly urge you to upgrade your operating system to a new supported version of windows.