- Having outdated computer software is high risk. The ransomware attack that shut down some British hospitals and Germany’s rails system would not have happened if they were running the latest security updates from Microsoft. Running outdated software such as Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7 leaves your computer vulnerable to attack. Microsoft released a patch 2 months prior to the ransom attack that made updated computers immune to the attack.
- Data Backup is essential. The WannaCry ransom attack is just one of many ransom attacks and experts believe ransom attacks will become more common, harder to detect & easier to get. Having a regular backup of all your data is an essential part of computing. Where people do get caught out is leaving hard drive & USB sticks plugged into their devices so when an attack strikes the backup can also be targeted.
- Malware & ransomware in general requires user interaction to trigger the exploit. The common methods are e-mail attachments and bogus Facebook links. The problem with the WannaCry ransomware attack seems to be a little more complicated with analysts still unsure how the attack was initially released and how it found computers to infect. It seems this particular threat is automated and doesn’t require user interaction to spread.
- Anti-Virus software isn’t 100% bullet proof. There are reports of people running the latest in category A anti-virus & malware prevention software have also fallen victim to the ransom threat. While having anti-virus & anti-malware software is important, it’s not guaranteed to prevent your computer being attacked.
- The WannaCry ransom attack seems to be the first ransom attack that combined its payload with self-propagating code normally found with a worm. When WannaCry infects a computer, it also has the ability to affect other computers on the network. This is how is shut down hospitals, rail systems, universities and telecommunication companies. Be careful what is shared on networks and ensure all the latest firmware updates are applied to your modems & routers.
- If we take a look back at other Ransomware attacks, the current strain of WannaCry is simply the start. Expect new variations and delivery methods of this threat in the not too distant future. Even scarier still, WannaCry has now paved the way for new threats to self-propagate like worms do. It’s believed that WannaCry infected over 50,000 computers within 24 hours in over 50 countries. It is by far the fastest spreading ransomware in history. Hackers will inevitably find new ways to deliver threats like this one and with Ransomware considered a billion dollar industry it’s easy to see why the attacks continue
If you would like Ballan Computers to look over your computer & network security, let us know. Call 03 5368 2611 to book an appointment. We come to you in Ballarat, Ballan, Bacchus Marsh & surrounding areas.
Heres another post about how to protect yourself against this threat.
Check out our post: What is Ransomware?