This past Friday, a new ransomware threat burst onto the scene globally in what was described as an attack “unprecedented in its scale.” Before the original version was stopped by a young, anonymous digital security expert, it had brought England’s National Health Service to its knees. It forced medical staff to resort to keeping paper records as large swaths of their computers were locked up with their files encrypted.

French automaker Renault saw factories sitting idle for the same reason, and as the day wore on, the news only got worse.

The security expert who saved the day did so by finding and exploiting a weakness in the code the hackers were using which allowed him to take control of a “kill switch” that only the hackers were supposed to have access to. However, he warns that another attack is almost certain to occur once the hackers have corrected their mistake.

The malware works by exploiting a flaw in the Microsoft Operating systems.  This flaw was fixed in supported version Like Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012 and 2016, with a patch that came out in March 2017.  The unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP and Server 2003, which are still in surprisingly widespread use, did not have that patch.  The attack was so severe that Microsoft took the unusual step of issuing an emergency patch to protect XP and Server 2003 users, who are advised to update their software immediately!

Already, two new strains of the WannaCry malware have been discovered in the wild, one of which has no kill switch at all. Fortunately, this variant isn’t fully functional yet, which gives users at least a little time to patch their systems before the next attack occurs.

If you are infected, as with other forms of Malware, WannaCry will encrypt all your files and demand a payment in BitCoin. Your choices are to pay the ransom and get the unlock key, which doesn’t ever guarantee unencrypting your files or safety from future attack, or you can restore your system from backup, assuming you have a recent backup and the correct type.  Ensuring that all of your systems are updated with the latest patches, and that you have defense against these types of attacks as well as proper backup is critical. Please give our team a call at 281-374-4822 or contact us if you have any concerns about this or any other security issues.

We have decided to offer Free CyberSecurity Audits for Houston area small businesses for the rest of the Month of May!  When we are done you will:

  • Understand if you are vulnerable and if so how you are vulnerable
  • Will be given a plan/recommendations on how to be protected as best as possible and to be able to recover your business as fast as you must should you be infected.

For more information call us at 281-374-4822 or contact us

Stay safe out there!

Used with permission from Article Aggregator