At a time when the internet is fast becoming the backbone of many companies, any lapse in the network security can quickly bring any businesses to a grinding halt. A few days back the world has seen a malware attack that has hit at least 150 countries. It is a ransomware which locked the computers and asked for money to restore them. Let’s decipher it to understand how it works what can you do to avoid becoming a prey.
The Ransomware Attack
The malware used the weaknesses in the Microsoft’s Windows operating system to spread at a never seen before pace. The ransomware named as “WanaCryptor,” “WeCry” used the vulnerability in the Windows Server component to get inside the corporate networks. The virus took control of user’s files and demanded USD 300 to restore access.
The attack affected lakhs of computers across the world and said that costs would double after three days. It also threatens to delete the files after seven days if no payment is made.
Victim Is Threatened With Deleted Files
The ransomware more often than not includes a clock with a countdown time for paying the ransom. The consequences for not paying the ransom may be deleted files and documents. The agony doesn’t end here, even if you pay the ransom to unlock the machine that doesn’t mean they will remove the malicious software out of your computer. In fact, they may plant other malware in your computer to take out the additional information and sell the personal information and other important information for money.
Defending Against The Ransomware
Besides Windows 10, which is the latest version, the vulnerability is present in all the previous versions of the windows. With the help of Microsoft’s first patch the users of all previous versions of Windows can easily protect themselves against the infection. In fact, if you have been updating the systems you might not be affected with the virus. You can also protect yourself against the virus by not opening the malicious email attachments.
Taking Precautionary Steps
With few precautionary steps you can guard yourself against any future infections. These steps are:
- Update your systems regularly with latest patches for Windows.
- If you are using a firewall, ensure that it is updated with latest virus definitions
- Ensure that you are not opening any mail with suspicious attachments and that your MS office is up-to date.
Thus with proper understanding of virus and its working, you can protect yourself against the any attacks.