May 17, 2017
It is one of the biggest security threats of recent times. It has spread in over 150 countries and affected more than 200,000 computers.
What is ransomware?
Till now, more than 150 countries have been affected by ransomware, which exploits the 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 $$$$ 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.
Make safe and secure backups
It’s a good idea to back up files to a drive that remains entirely disconnected from your network, he says.
Update and patch your systems
The latest ransomware was successful because of a combination of factors.
Those include a known and highly dangerous security hole in Microsoft Windows, users who didn’t apply Microsoft’s March software fix, and malware designed to spread quickly once inside the university, business and government networks.
Use antivirus software
Using antivirus software will protect you from the most basic, well-known viruses by scanning your system against their known ‘fingerprints’.
Be suspicious of emails, websites, and apps
The most common ways for the software to be installed on a victim’s device is through phishing emails, malicious adverts on websites, and questionable apps and programs.
People should always exercise caution when opening unsolicited emails or visiting websites they are unfamiliar with. Never download an app that hasn’t been verified by an official store, and read reviews before installing programs.
Never pay the ransom
Victims of ransomware attacks are advised to never pay the fee as it encourages attackers and may not result in files being recovered. There are some programs that can help decrypt files. Or, if you have a backup, you can restore your device from that.