Patch Available for Ransomware Attack
You are going to want to cry–unless you make sure you are protected
Wordfence security software has announced they have confirmed a serious virus called WannaCrypt0r/WannaCry has affected Windows computers. Reputed to affect computers on shared networks, the virus has been reported in at least 74 countries worldwide.
According to Kaspersky Lab there have been more than 57,000 individual instances reported to date. And that number is growing rapidly.
Once one computer on a network is affected, the malware infection easily spreads to other Windows computers on the same network, shutting down entire government agencies and national infrastructure companies. Hospitals across the UK were being forced to divert patients and ambulance routes as of Friday afternoon, and several utility companies across Europe reported infection across their computer networks according to BBC News.
This virus is of the type known as ransomware.
Why ransomware? Because it will take over your computer, completely locking it down. You can’t access anything. Then a pop-up screen appears, announcing that you can liberate your device by paying them for a special tool or decryption device.
Is Your Windows Computer Safe from this Ransomware Attack or Infected?
Clearly, if you see the ransom notice on your computer, then you have been compromised.
However, experts don’t yet know how long the virus may be resident on your computer BEFORE it actually takes over and locks up your system.
Have you accessed a public network with your computer? If you took your laptop to a cafe, used it at another place of business, for example, they you may have received the infection.
The Good News
Microsoft has been aware of this vulnerability and released a fix back on March 14th for Windows. If you have automatic updates enabled, you should be fine.
If you don’t have updates automatically, be sure to check to see that you have the latest release.
There are older versions of Windows, (XP, for example) that are no longer supported by Microsoft. These did not receive the security update–although there are reports that Microsoft is changing that policy and may issue, or may have already issued a patch for these users as well.
Kaspersky Lab is a multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider headquartered in Moscow, Russia and operated by a holding company in the United Kingdom.
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