Last Friday morning, the world was hit with a devilish virus attack. This malware, dubbed WannaCry, WCry or WanaCryptor, is ransomware that has locked the files of impacted systems and demanded a bitcoin payment to release the user’s data. In this case, if the user doesn’t pay by the specified deadline, the ransom price doubles. If ransom isn’t paid within seven days, all files are deleted.

As of this morning (Monday, May 15th) the WannaCry trojan virus has infected more than 200,000 systems around the world with no end in sight. Crippling systems in 150 countries, numerous healthcare agencies, banks and large corporations have been affected.

An infected computer screen will look like this:

wannacry

 

Where did WannaCry come from, you ask? Thank the NSA for that one. This virus uses a flaw in the Microsoft operating system originally discovered and exploited by the National Security Agency for its surveillance. Microsoft released an update to repair the flaw in March of this year so many systems were protected but, for those without the latest versions and proper “patch,” it’s too late. If you are a Miller Group client under one of our “All-Covered” or “Workstation Essentials” plans, your systems are secure from this threat. For more information on our plans visit www.themillergroup.com.

Unfortunately, there is no universal cure for an infected device so the only solutions to regain files are to restore your data from a previous back-up, start clean with a new install of your operating system or to pay the ransom… although some experts are warning that you may not get your files back even after paying the hackers.

What to do to protect your computer:

  1. Install any and all updates available to you, specifically for Windows XP or Windows 8 users. Updates contain patches and bug fixes that close loopholes to prevent cybersecurity attacks.
  2. Back-up your data either to an external device or to a cloud-based service. For more information on back-up and disaster recovery options, visit www.stlbdr.com
  3. Treat all unexpected emails with caution as this virus, like most, is email transmitted.

Researchers suggest that ransomware attacks are on the rise and WannaCry could be one of many hits globally this year. If you’d like more information on ransomware, cybersecurity and phishing protection visit our website www.stlcybersecurity.com or call us at (314) 822-8090