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A new wave of Ransomware known as WannaCry or wcry was unleashed on Friday 12 May 2017, infecting computers at a rate of about one per second, all over the world.
By Monday 15 May 2017, hundreds of thousands of computers had been infected, in over 150 countries. Thankfully, Australia was not one of the worst targets hit – however, caution moving forward is absolutely crucial.
While the rate of infection has slowed down thanks to reported kill switches & patches that managed to stop the infection capabilities of this attack, it is unwise to rule out the ability for both the original creators, and copy cat cybercriminals, creating variants of this fast paced and highly profitable ransomware; in fact, security experts are predicting that someone will reverse engineer this ransomware worm to create an updated version, which you can bet won’t have a kill switch.
Our team at C3 Group worked tirelessly over the weekend monitoring the advancements of this attack, while performing critical patch installations & updates for greater protection to our clients. We sent out warning notifications to ensure our clients were made aware of the attack and could forward the warning on to friends and colleagues for greater awareness. We continue to monitor the progress of any variants, to ensure that we’re doing all we can to enforce superior security.
As we know, it is no longer a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ you’ll be targeted by cybercriminals. This goes for both business and home users – however, statistics show that SMBs are among the most heavily targeted victims of cybercrime – and with a malware as ruthless as WannaCry, this is a time where immense caution and heavy security must be utilised.
With this in mind, there is a crucial need to think about what, above all solutions and preventative measures you can put in place, do you as an end-user have control of. The answer to that is – a lot! As an end-user, you have the ability to enforce security and cautiousness in everything you do online. So even though attacks to your systems might be likely, you can be educated in what to look out for, giving you the power to stop an attack in its tracks.
1. As emails are being used as the delivery path for WannaCry, we have compiled tips on how to spot attempted scams, so you can be better prepared if you’re targeted:
2. Back-up your data. If the worst case scenario occurs and you’re hit with malware, the best thing you can have, is your data backed up – because if there’s nothing backed up, there’s nothing to recover in the event of a cyber-attack.
3. Patch, patch, patch! Microsoft have released a patch designed specifically to block the exploit within WannaCry, you can install it here. We have done this automatically for our Managed Services clients.
4. Update any Antivirus software installed on your computer. Again, we do this automatically for our clients, but if you’re not one, please ensure you’re updating your Antivirus software, as most vendors now have added the capacity to block WannaCry within their solutions.
5. Be extremely cautious of all emails coming into your inbox (both at work and home) – double check the sender & their email address, hover over any links to see where they’re going to take you first, and never open attachments that don’t look quite right.
We strongly suggest that if you haven’t already subscribed to all components of our comprehensive multi-layered security stack – C3 CyberSecurity – you do so ASAP. Our solution comprises of best-in-class Antivirus, Email Hygiene, Firewall/Gateway security and DNS security. Implementing all components of this solution is of critical importance in reducing IT risk to your business.