Tech

WannaCry Ransomware: Know How To Protect Yourself From The Unexpected Attack

By Monica U Santos , May 16, 2017 03:20 AM EDT
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The huge and unexpected attack that happened last Friday mainly hit businesses and established organizations. The affected groups include the UK hospitals, FedEx, a Spanish telecom, the Russian Interior Ministry and much more. Now, the question is, how to protect yourself from the WannaCry Ransomware.

What Is WannaCry Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of wicked and malicious software that takes over the system of a computer. It locks the user out in order to prevent them from accessing any saved files until they pay a certain amount of money. This particular application is what we call the WannaCry Ransomware, which asks for at least $300 from the user.

WannaCry takes the influence of a Windows flaw discovered by the National Security Agency (NSA) and made public by hackers last month. With that, Microsoft releases a patch for the vulnerability in March. However, computers, operators and networks that didn't update their operating systems were still at risk.

How To Protect Yourself From WannaCry Ransomware?

According to The New York Times, users of Macs or other non-Windows computers were not affected with this. Security experts believe that WannaCry has initially infected computers by getting people to download it via email. After that, a malicious code will be able to easily travel to a much larger network of machines that were linked together with the use of Windows file-sharing system.

Here are the steps to prevent your computer from the attack, as reported by CNET.

  1. Update Windows immediately
  2. Turn Windows Update on if it's disabled
  3. Install a dedicated ransomware blocker
  4. Block port 445 for extra safety
  5. Keep watching for mutations
  6. Backup files using cloud storage

The ransomware attack exploits a vulnerability in older Windows OS, including Windows 8, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. If a more recent version of Windows is running on the computer and it stays up-to-date, it should not be vulnerable to the current attack or WannaCry. Take note that it is designed to target devices running Windows OS and the files contained therein, therefore it's not a threat to Android and iOS mobiles.

 

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