A new ransomware called “WannaCry” spread rapidly around the world, with reports on Monday May 15, 2017, that over the previous four day period, people in 150 countries were infected on more than 230,000 computers. The outbreak focused early in Russia and Europe, but spread rapidly to all parts of the globe. The outbreak shut down hospitals, transportation, universities and factories.
Similar to most other ransomware, WannaCry infects a computer after a user opens an email attachment, and then encrypts all data files it can access, including word processing, video, audio, PDF and many other file types. At last report, WannaCry was demanding ransoms of the equivalent of $300 to $600 in Bitcoin.
The attack is described as a cyber weapon of mass destruction because it is targeting a known exploit by scanning the internet for at-risk machines and targeting the email addresses associated with them. Microsoft published the MS17-010 Security Update (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms17-010.aspx) on March 14, 2017 which should protect computers against this threat, but not all machines across the internet have deployed this security update.What should you do?
As always, do not click links in emails that seem suspicious or from people you don’t know and trust. Watch out for attachments in ZIP file format that claim to be invoices or similar documents.
BrightWire Networks protects our clients through a combination of hardware (firewall), software (anti-malware and web browsing protection), and training for clients' staff people. Contact BrightWire today to learn more.