Over the weekend a new ransomware attack has been making headlines as it cripples systems across the world. From the British healthcare system to FedEx, WannaCry is indiscriminately locking down systems and demanding ransoms the world over.
This has been a very complex attack. It has used a number of techniques such as social engineering, worming, and phishing to infect as many computers in as small as time period as possible. The virus normally arrives on a network via an email with an attachment from a known contact. Once the attachment is opened, it downloads some code onto the pc, and starts infecting that computer. Before any signs of forced entry are shown, the virus then starts to infect other computers on the network, and attempts to email itself out to everyone on the infected computers contact list.
The good news is that it’s pretty simple to keep yourself protected from the WannaCry cryptolocker virus, and there have been a number of security updates that were released prior to, and after the initial outbreak.
Microsoft identified the vulnerability that WannaCry is currently exploiting a published an update for Windows 7, 8 and 10 in March of this year, meaning that if you’ve kept your systems up to date, you’ve already helped to mitigate one of the factors behind how this virus has spread so quickly and easily.
If you’re running Trend Micro or Symantec internet security, these applications have received patches to identify and protect you from cryptolocker viruses, and these companies have indicated that they are continuing to patch and protect their clients against this and other threats.
Don’t open any emails that you’ve received from people you don’t know, and be very careful when opening attachments in emails from people you do know. If you’ve received an email from someone you don’t know, delete the email before opening it to make sure you stay as safe as possible. If you receive an attachment from someone you do know, call them to confirm that they intended to send you this file. This virus has mostly spread from one contact to another via attachments in emails, and the easiest way that you can keep yourself safe is to double check this files with the person who sent them.
If you have found that your machine has been infected with a cryptolocker virus, contact Unitech Solutions on 1300 IT HELP (1300 484 357). We have experience dealing with this type of virus, and if contacted early enough, we may be able to save your data before it’s too late.
As always, if you receive an email from a sender that you don’t know do not open it or any attachments – delete the email straight away.