Word-fence reports on the latest ransomware attacks
This is certainly a Word-fence public service security announcement for all users of computers operating any version of windows.
We now have confirmed that a ransomware risk known as WannaCrypt0r/Wanna-cry has damaged Windows computers on shared networks in at least 74 countries worldwide, with 57, 000 reported individual cases being damaged. And according to the analysis team at Kasper-sky Lab, that number is growing fast.
Once one computer on the network is affected, the malware infection easily propagates to other Windows computer systems on the same network, shutting down entire authorities agencies and commercial infrastructure companies. Hospitals across the UK were being compelled to divert patients and ambulance routes by Friday afternoon, and several services companies across Europe reported infection across their computer networks according to BBC News.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a kind of malicious program or software that install itself on your computer without your knowledge. When it’s installed and operating, it will secure your system and won’t permit you to access any data files or programs on that computer. Usually, as in this current Wanna-cry exploits, it will alert you to the lock-down with an impossible-to-ignore pop-up display which informs you that your computer is being held for ransom. To unlock your system and restore access to the computer being held hostage, the lock screen informs you that you must purchase an unlock tool or decryption key from the hacker.
Where Did This Threat Originate?
In such a case, Microsoft has been aware of the vulnerability since March 2017, when it published a Security Bulletin covering the potential risk. According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, early on indicators seem to be to indicate the attack originating in China, but more information is needed.
How Can You Tell If Your Computer Is Infected?
One of the most evident ways to tell if your computer has been damaged is if you are finding a ransomware pop-up display when you switch on your computer. But because we don’t know how long the malware sits on your computer or network, not seeing this pop-up isn’t necessarily an indication that you haven’t been afflicted. The bottom line if your Windows computer has linked to a distributed network, such as those found in schools, public places, cafes, and businesses, and you don’t have complete control over every computer on that network and haven’t been keeping Windows up-to-date, your computer may be infected.
How to Protect Yourself From the Vulnerability
Relating to Microsoft a fix for this vulnerability was launched on March 14 for all those damaged versions of Windows. If you are running Windows and also have automatic updates enabled you to have to be alright. If you don’t and haven’t updated recently you should update to the recently released version immediately. It is necessary to note that unsupported versions of windows, like XP, did not receive this security upgrade. Those systems should either be isolated or shut down.
Please pass this along to your friends and family. The ones that are less technical might not exactly have updates auto-enabled and may desire a supporting hand updating their operating system.