Ransomware That Makes You WannaCry

Ransomware is a very damaging threat to our digital world. Your digital files can be held hostage by this kind of malware, often for large sums of money. But the worst thing is there is no guarantee you can recover your files.

So what does this mean for businesses? And how bad was the recent attack, known as WannaCry?

WannaCry Ransomware

The WannaCry ransomware functions mostly like any other kind of ransomware once it infects a computer.

  • NSA Discovers exploit for Windows machines.
    The WannaCry virus was initially based on an exploit uncovered by the NSA. The exploit allowed the remote operation of nearly any program or operating system by remote. If it connected to the internet and ran Windows, it was exploitable.
  • Hacker Group “Shadow Brokers” leaks documents from NSA, including details on exploit.
    The group leaked the documents in the name of transparency, showing the world what organizations like the NSA are capable of. The data on the exploit was locked away on an NSA server to be used for future covert reconnaissance and data gathering. When the documents were leaked, the virus details went with it, and cybercriminals jumped at the chance to use them.
  • Cyberthieves use the exploit and set up a code to victimize many people.
    It quickly encrypts all of your files then deletes any backups. After that, the computer owner gets a message saying that they can receive a decryption password after paying the cyber thieves ransom money, which is usually about $300 USD worth of BitCoin. If the victim doesn’t pay within 72 hours, the price doubles. A few days after that, the files are permanently locked.
  • The virus spreads by email.
    The victim to open or download an attachment from an email. This is seen in situations like the Locky virus, where the victim receives an email, downloads the attachment, and the attachment automatically runs a script, encrypting all the data on the computer.
  • “Malware Tech Blog” stops the spread of the virus through a lucky break.
    A writer for Malware Tech Blog, who wished to remain anonymous but has since been compromised, discovered a killswitch for the virus. Embedded within a website, he purchased the domain as soon as it became available, stopping the spread of the virus.

As of this point, more than 200,000 computers have been attacked across 150 countries. Victims have paid about $70,000 in ransom to retrieve their files. If your files were encrypted, it would be best to wipe your hard drive and restore data with backups. Paying the thieves only emboldens them to do this again.

Am I at Risk of Infection?

In corporate networks, the virus would easily spread via file sharing systems. Company intranets and servers that are used for the day-to-day business of a company could receive an infection from one computer. But if that computer is networked to all the other computers within the building, all of them will become infected. That is how the virus spread so quickly.

Some of the most vulnerable systems include:

  • Corporate offices
  • Hospitals
  • Banks
  • Telecom Companies
  • Warehouses

So what can you do?

  • Update Windows
    Update everything. Computers, laptops, game consoles, even cars and coffee pots run windows. The operating system is everywhere. Microsoft has released a patch for all devices running Windows, including “unsupported” devices, such as old operating systems, MRI machines, and others. This patch prevents the exploit from being used against you.
  • IT Security
    Personal computers should have antivirus software that is up to date. Business owners with networked computers need to invest in IT security. A managed IT security firm will add encryption to your network, as well as firewalls and provide support to protect your business and data.
  • Backup Everything
    As part of a managed IT service, you can back up all of your data and store it in an off-site server. In the event you do experience data loss, whether due to a virus or hardware failure, this backup can get your business running again with minimal delay.

There are variations of the virus out there that could still be spreading, so do everything you can to protect your data.

Source: WannaCry ransomware

The Most Significant Cyber Threat: Ransomware

There are a number of different viruses on the web, from annoying browser jackers to damaging trojans, but the biggest threat out there is ransomware. Ransomware viruses will hold your computer hostage for a period of time during which you have to either cut your losses at the expense of your data or pay the virus owner whatever they are demanding to relinquish your computer. There are many different types of ransomware, but the best way to get rid of any of them is to never get them in the first place. Read More

Is It Time to Upgrade My Computer?

As they age, computers tend to slow down. This can be caused by several different factors including hard drive wear, viruses, low memory, and worn out components. Often, people just keep trudging forward with a slow computer, possibly feeling like “this just is how it is,” but a lot of times you can either replace a component, change some software, or in an ultimate case scenario, buy a new computer altogether. Read More

WiFi: Secure or Open?

When it comes to connectivity, wifi is one of the most widely available ports of entry to the vast internet. A few years ago, it was the only way to wirelessly access the internet, and people with laptops were glad to have it. Coffee shops started hosting free wifi and now some restaurants feature it. In the mobile age, most phones are able to access the internet via 3G or 4G connections through their carrier, but wifi is more reliable inside a large building and it won’t cost you anything for data. Read More

Web Connected Vehicles and Hacking

In the digital age, there will always be risks. From corporate breaches that expose our sensitive information like credit card numbers to hackers and thieves to viruses that hijack our computers. Now we can add cars to that list of worries. Wired magazine enlisted the help of a couple of hackers to test the susceptibility of a new Jeep Cherokee that has wireless capabilities. Read More

Security and HIPAA Compliance

In the digital age, emails are sent by the millions every day around the world. Some people worry about the level of security offered in that digital parcel, as evidenced by numerous outcries in the wake of privacy invasions. People want to know that their personal correspondence is secure and safe from prying eyes. In the years since email became a primary means of communication, numerous safeguards have been developed and implemented. Read More

What Inventory Management System Can Offer To E-commerce Platforms?

An efficient management system can really boost up the results for your ecommerce platform. Ecommerce platforms are meant to encompass needs and demands of customers, so they are usually built on state of the art contemporary tools. Without encompassing latest tools, an ecommerce platform can be do dumb to satisfy demands of customers and in face can cause serious implications for business owners. Read More

Managed Services – Contractor – Clientele concerns

As per the more common believe, monthly agreements are considered as the time-tested formula for a creative Managed Services contract. This is in line with the fact that a regular monthly contract would adhere to the recurring revenues. However, things can go other way round provided that you are not considerate of conditions clearly defining the manageable, work scope and deliverables. Read More

What Asset Tracking can deliver to your company?

Asset tracking is simply the process of monitoring and scrutinizing the assets of a company. This includes quantifying a company’s asset and tracking their location at any given instance. Before we get going with the process of asset tracking and its importance in a company’s performance, it would be helpful to understand that assets refer to products that generally are used internally for smooth running of daily company’s operations. Read More