How to Shield Your System Against WannaCry Ransomware Attack

How to Shield Your System Against WannaCry Ransomware Attack

One of the most risky malware attacks to have ever happened, occurred this past week called the WannaCry ransomware attack, putting major companies and institutions on the brink of losing their data. Those include a known and highly unsafe security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn't apply Microsoft's March software fix, and malware created to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks. This weekend's virus was particularly virulent, because it could spread to all other computers on a network even if just one user clicked a bad link or attachment. The Ransomware virus had stopped vehicle factories, hospitals, shops and schools in over 75 countries."The Ransomware virus is a virus that affects computer systems and locks up the files on your computer and encrypts them in a way that you can not access them anymore", said Harinder Singh Sekhon, in-charge, cyber cell.He added, "Ransomware is a programme that gets into your computer only by downloading and it will ask you to pay ransom in Bitcoins".

The only way to effectively protect Windows-based computers from this ransomware is to install the Microsoft-provided patches.

The federal government has a policy called the "Vulnerabilities Equities Process" that addresses when agencies should tell companies about security flaws, but that policy has only been partially made public and its process remains opaque, cybersecurity experts said.

The WannaCry attack "bore some striking similarities to the code used in those three attacks". EternalBlue and DoublePulsar, two tools the NSA used to infiltrate computer networks, were stolen from the agency and leaked online in April as part of a massive data dump by the Shadow Brokers hacker group.

One theory suggested that 90 percent of NHS trusts across the United Kingdom were using Microsoft's 16-year-old OS Windows XP, which could leave them susceptible to attacks. Using an operating system after its expiration date is unwise, but in fairness to the millions of people around the world still using old versions of Windows, expecting consumers to regularly buy expensive software of uncertain quality is unwise too. WannaCry is believed to be using the same software.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that will block access to your files unless you pay a ransom. Moreover, in addition to Symantec, researchers at Google and Kaspersky Lab confirmed the coding similarities, the Times reports.

The recent worldwide "WannaCry Ransomware attack", which hit several countries and left victims locked out of their PCs with a promise to restore access if a sum of money was paid, is the latest trending topic on most chats and social conversations. The best course of action is to contact an IT or Cyber Security professional to assist you in analyzing and minimizing the attack.

Spanish firm Telefonica, French automaker Renault, the US -based delivery service FedEx and the German railway Deutsche Bahn were among those affected.

In a blog post, Microsoft admonished governments around the world for keeping software vulnerabilities to themselves, instead of reporting them to the developers.

Britain's National Health Services first sounded the ransomware alarm Friday.

To keep the world safe these things have to be done.

As for Microsoft, some intelligence agency experts questioned its NSA criticism, saying it's unreasonable for the company to ask governments to stop using its products as a way to attack and monitor enemies. "We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits", he said.

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