Worldwide cyberattack: Here’s how to protect yourself


Second, what made the WannaCry ransomware so powerful is how quickly it spread. “We have to protect the nation and have to protect people first, but they had a leak“.

“Once [a virus] has managed to enter the larger network, it can then use vulnerabilities to spread”, said Prof Woodward. Security patches can break essential third-party software, so they have to be tested and rolled out. Security experts said his move bought precious time for organizations seeking to block the attacks.Researchers remained on high alert for new variants that could lead to a fresh wave of infections. Short of paying, options for these individuals and companies are usually limited to recovering data files from a backup, if available, or living without them. Authorities have been warning businesses to ensure that their systems are updated.

“The only way to protect against this is to have complete visibility of all devices on a network at all times, and the ability to understand and control the devices and their levels of access across the organisation’s network”. The average ransom demanded in 2016 rose from $294 to $1,077 dollars.1 Most ransomware is generally spread when a user clicks on a malicious attachment in an e-mail or on a hyperlink. That way even if you’re hit with ransomware you’ve got all your files protected elsewhere.

“Things like MRI machines, operating room equipment, security cameras, patient monitors and wireless printers often come with a default password, and unless they are regularly updated with the latest security software, offer a vulnerable back door into an organisation’s wider systems”.

The police have also asked residents to avoid clicking on any unknown link on websites or any suspicious emails or download links.

Back up your computer and store the safety version in the cloud or on a drive that is not connected to your computer. When the leaks occurred, Microsoft patched the vulnerability, but the events that kicked off on Friday demonstrated that many, many systems weren’t up to date. Better still, set the system to automatically do this on your behalf.

Deutsche Bahn: The German railway company told CNNMoney that due to the attack “passenger information displays in some stations were inoperative” as were “some ticket machines”. In less than 48 hours, it has compromised more than 130,000 organizations worldwide in over 150 countries. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) was among the hardest hit and it has been reported that the IT systems of about 40 NHS organizations have been affected by this ransomware attack.

It may be that the attackers created their virus without knowing exactly how far it would spread.

Multiple media reports indicate that the ransomware exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows operating system, using a tool developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) that was released to the public by WikiLeaks earlier this year.

“It’s worth remembering Windows XP not only came out six years before first iPhone”.

“Practice ABC – assume nothing, believe no-one, check everything”, says Prof Woodward. But successive generations of the operating system have been found wanting. In the United Kingdom, where the initial attack threw parts of the health care system into chaos Friday, the government scheduled an emergency meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the attack.

“There’s a lot of older Windows products out there that are “end of life” and nobody’s bothered to take them out of service”, said Cynthia Larose, a cybersecurity expert at the law firm of Mintz Levin.

In the same way that a burglar breaking into a home can cover their tracks, cyber-criminals can go to great lengths to hide their identity.

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