A Global Attack
In case you have not yet heard, there was a massive ransomware attack that took place recently called WannaCry. Criminal hackers have released a new strain of ransomware that spreads automatically across all workstations in a network and has caused a global epidemic. The attack was so serious that if you or a co-worker are not paying attention and accidentally open one of these phishing email attachments, you will infect not only your own workstation, but everyone else on your network, too.
The attack has infected hundreds of thousands of machines worldwide in a matter of 24 hours. Companies like FedEx, Renault, and Nissan as well as Russian banks, gas stations, and telecommunications firms have reported that up to 83% of their systems have been shut down from the cyberattack. In the UK, there were dozens of hospitals shut down. There have been over 150 countries affected with the number only expected to rise today with China already reporting over one million machines infected.
It’s Called “WannaCry”
It locks down all the files on the infected computer and asks you to pay a ransom to regain control. It infiltrates the network using computers missing a two-month old Microsoft patch from March, 2017.
How They’re Doing It
The hackers are using a NSA 0-day threat that was exposed and used to create a ransomware strain that replicates itself like a worm and takes over an entire network. It is equipped to automatically start scanning for computers on the network that it can infect. This means that if you are using a public network—at a coffee shop, for example—be particularly careful because if someone else sharing that network were to be infected, it will infect you too.
How To Protect Yourself
If you have not already we recommend taking immediate action and ensuring that your systems have been patched to protect your network from WannaCry. Consumers who have up-to-date software are more likely to be protected.
This Won’t Be The Last Of It
While the specific WannaCry attack may have come and gone by now more attacks like this are sure to happen. WannaCry was a huge wake up call to the world and we want to make sure your business is safe and you have the knowledge you need to better protect yourself in the future.