On Friday, across the globe a massive cyberattack was observed. This attack called as Wannacry Ransomware attack on Friday hit hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe. The attack hit large institutions and companies, including the U.K.’s National Health Service, China’s National Petroleum Corporation, and Renault factories in France. This attack also crippled major government and corporate operations.
Wannacry is a ransomware which encrypts the files on the computers and makes it inaccessible. Once it’s inside your machine and activated, it instructs the owner to pay a ransom in Bitcoin in exchange for unlocking the files. WannaCry demands $300 in Bitcoin to unlock files on a machine. This also answers the question on why wannacry ransomware was created (pay the ransom). Most of us have come across some malicious sites that asks you to download a codec or file to install. Avoid such sites and installing the files that could harm your computer. The good part is researcher found a way to stop this attack and he has documented the info here.
How can i stop Wannacry Ransomware Attack
Any files encrypted by ransomware are decrypted using tools called decryptors. Currently if your computer is infected with wannacry ransomware, there is no tool to decrypt. Though there is a kill switch found out, it could still affect many organizations. However the security firms are working on it. Symantec firm in their blog warns that WannaCry is also spreading within corporate networks, without user interaction. Some organizations are recommending to disconnect all the computers from internet that are unprotected. The ransomware targets the old operating systems such as Windows XP which is quite vulnerable. Microsoft has issued a patch to stop the attach for Windows XP machines.
Tips for preventing Wannacry Ransomware Attack
- Most all keep your security software up to date.
- Ensure your operating system is updated.
- Ransomware spreads mainly via email. Therefore do not click/open any suspicious email and attachments.
- Have your data backed up to a external device.
- Be careful when you find Microsoft Office email attachment that advises you to enable macros to view its content. Do not enable macros unless you are really sure that it is a genuine email.
- During browsing do not install any suspicious software when prompted by browser.