By now, you’ve probably heard of WannaCry (also known as WannaCrypt) — a cyberattack that took the world by storm on Friday, affecting businesses and organizations in 150 countries.
What is “Wannacry” Ransomware?
WannaCry is a trojan virus known as “ransomware,” which basically holds the infected computer hostage. In order to regain access to the hijacked computer and files, the “kidnappers” demand the victim pay a ransom. This particular malware affects older Windows networks and is especially dangerous because just one person clicking an errant link can infect an entire network. The ransom demand generally starts out at $300 in bitcoins and then increases until it’s paid. If demands are not met within seven days, WannaCry will delete all data on the affected computer or network.
Ransomware attacks are not a new thing. The last ransomware attack (Cryptolocker) happened in 2014. This kind of attack is recurring, persistent, and needs to be guarded against daily by everyone. While these attacks can happen at any time, businesses are especially vulnerable on Friday afternoons, which is the best time to attack from a hacker’s perspective. The most important thing to do now is to ensure your computer or network are protected. Here are some things you can do:
- Make sure your Microsoft Windows operating systems are patched with the latest security updates and running up-to-date anti-malware.
- Install the MS Security Bulletin patches for MS17-010.
- Disable SMBv1.
- Backup your data regularly and store it offline.
- Don’t open or click links from unknown senders or that appear to come from Google or other search engines.
- If you suspect malicious activity, unplug your network cable and turn off Wi-Fi. Then inform your IT team immediately or contact us here at JPMerc.
Since 2005, JPMerc has helped small to mid-sized businesses use technology more effectively — so it fuels their productivity and success, instead of getting in the way. Email us or call (508) 986-9005, and let’s discuss your company’s IT needs.