Cyber bullies are behind this.
It is estimated that 114,000 computers in 99 - no, make that 210,000 computers in 150 - countries were affected on Friday. The number of victims is growing by the minute. Fortunately, someone figured out how to stop the attack last week, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. As MalwareTech reports, “It’s very important everyone understands that all they need to do is change some code and start again. Patch your systems now!”
As a matter of fact, WannaCry 2.0 has already been released, so this is not over.
How to know you’re at risk:
1. If you use a PC computer. WannaCry does not affect Macs.
2. If your PC uses the Windows XP operating system.
3. If you have not installed recent upgrades.
Windows XP is not the current operating system for Microsoft, and the company is no longer supporting XP without custom contracts. But, because of the widespread and massive exploit across the world, Microsoft has issued a free-to-all Windows XP patch to help protect computers.
The other concern is that WannaCry will attempt to spread across your entire network, finding other computers that are equally vulnerable.
Warning for Monday: If you turn on a system without the MS17-010 patch and TCP port 445 open, your system can be ransomwared.— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) May 15, 2017
Here’s the link to the security patches: Microsoft Update Catalog
The Hacker News offers 7 easy steps to protect your computer from invasion:
1. Keep your system up-to-date.
2. Apply the emergency patch released by Microsoft.
3. Enable the Firewall.
4. Disable SMB.
5. Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.
6. Backup regularly.
7. Beware of phishing.
Norton Offers these tips - calling ransomware a form of bullying:
1. Don’t pay the ransom.
2. Don’t click on attachments in Email.
3. Do keep software up-to-date.
4. Do use security software.
5. Do back up. Now. It's important.
Bonus tip: Replace your PC with a Mac. The WannaCry infection does not affect those using Macintosh computers.
Does this all make your head spin and curse words drop from your lips? Do you hate being bullied? Do some of the words above look like Greek to you, only less friendly? Do you know enough to turn on your computer and check your email and a few favorite sites, and that’s it? Is the whole idea of patching and enabling and disabling stuff giving you the jitters? Do you have a business to run, and no time for this nonsense?
Then you may want to consider a service contract from a local computer repair company. Many have an annual computer maintenance plan that covers any and all in-store computer repairs whenever you need it, for one yearly fee.
In the meantime, whether you use SofTech or not, be sure to take immediate action to protect your computer and your entire network. It's important.
Editor’s disclosure: We share office space with SofTech, and consider them to be one of our community partners. We also use their services and have been quite happy with the results!