A major global cyber-attack named WannaCrypt has caused unprecedented disruption as it targeted the NHS and many business services across the UK last week. The Ransomware maliciously took advantage of a security vulnerability found on 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries worldwide. Once the device becomes infected, all files are encrypted by the ransomware and locked behind a paywall, forcing the user to comply or risk losing their files.
Circulating are reports that the WannaCrypt ransomware was developed from the EternalBlue exploit publicly stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US earlier this year. Microsoft have now issued a patch for all supported Windows systems in March when the exploit originally came to light.
Those who installed the critical update remain unaffected, devices which were left unprotected – including users on unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 – would be and are still at severe risk of infection. WannaCrypt can be activated remotely whcih means it does not require the user to click on a malicious link or open any email attachments such as with e-mail spam. This attack acts like a worm and replicates itself through the network to infect other computers with the same vulnerability quicly.
On Friday Microsoft released an update to it’s Defender system and urged all Windows operating systems to apply the MS17-010 hotfix update as soon as possible, more information can be found here
There are several other ways you can protect yourself against Ransomware attacks. Installing a cybersecurity solution such as Bitdefender GravityZone from OJE means you will be protected against zero-day threats, viruses and ransomware. Those using Bitdefender GravityZone were automatically protected from WannaCrypt ransomware. The latest events highlight the severity and importance of on going support and maintenance not just on your computers but your websites and cloud systems too.
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