MERIT Solutions Blog

MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

ALERT: Massive Ransomware Attack is the Biggest Ever

ALERT: Massive Ransomware Attack is the Biggest Ever

Run your Windows Updates and be very skeptical about opening unsolicited emails. Failure to do so may result in a very dangerous strain of ransomware that could infect your entire network and spread to your clients, partners, and prospects.

Microsoft has even released patches for some older, unsupported versions of Windows to combat the threat that infected PCs all over the world over the weekend.

What’s Going On?
A ransomware worm variant dubbed ‘WannaCry’ struck critical systems all around the world. While the attack has been addressed by Microsoft and halted for the time being, the threat is far from over, especially for users who don’t keep their computers updated.

Discovered early in the morning hours of Friday, May 12, WannaCry spread at a startling rate, reaching victims in 11 countries within its first few hours, and over 45,000 attacks (spread through 99 countries) after a few more hours. By Monday, over 150 countries had been hit by this global cyberattack.

There’s No Specific Target
The victims included many companies that provide utilities, like telecommunications, electrical, and gas companies. Even more frightening, WannaCry caused serious trouble in England’s healthcare systems, leading to massive numbers of non-critical patients being sent home or turned away at hospital doors. Russia found that thousands of its interior ministry computers had been infected. In the United States, the ransomware managed to infect FedEx’s systems, and these are just the big highlights. Businesses everywhere went dark as a result of this attack.

However, WannaCry did not target businesses of any specific industry. This particular ransomware worm is a threat to essentially any PC, old and new.

WannaCry was first discovered by security company Malwarebytes, whose director of malware intelligence, Adam Kujawa, had a few choice words to describe the malware, “The spread is immense. I’ve never seen anything before like this. This is nuts.” This opinion was repeated by many others in the industry.

How Do I Prevent WannaCry?
WannaCry relies on a security vulnerability in Windows. Microsoft deployed a security patch on March 14, so it is critical that users run the update, especially before putting themselves at risk and opening unsolicited emails. Computers that are patched face a significantly smaller risk of getting the ransomware. Key words here; significantly smaller, as in not totally in the clear.

To run your Windows Updates in Windows 10, open up your Start Menu and type “updates” in the search box and choose Check for Updates - system settings from the results. A window titled Windows Update should appear. From there, click the Check for updates button. If it says your device is up to date, you have the latest update. If not, you’ll need to allow your PC to install them.

Evaluating your computer and network security would be a good step in the right direction, as well as educating employees on some basic best practices like not downloading and opening unsolicited attachments.

It’s also critical that your files are backed up securely. If ransomware infects your network, it makes your files inaccessible unless you pay the ransom which only feeds into the problem. Utilizing an offsite backup solution that can easily be restored is the only way to go.

I’m Updated, am I Still at Risk?
There is also the risk that WannaCry is still waiting on some systems that have not been used since the attack began, so this initial attack is still far from over. Any PC on your network that gets infected could infect the rest. Plus, even with the patch, a user could still accidentally download an infected file. It’s also possible that those behind WannaCry will devise a workaround to the patch. Therefore, you should always be mindful as you review your incoming email and do your best to protect your network with managed IT security solutions and backing up your files.

Events like these are why we always encourage timely updates to your systems. WannaCry depended on a vulnerability in Windows, and will continue to infect outdated, unpatched PCs to be effective, and so your first defense against it is to make sure yours has the most recent security patches from Microsoft.

As Microsoft's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said, “The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call.”

What If I’ve Been Infected By WannaCry?
Contact us at (757) 420-5150 immediately. Under no circumstance should you attempt to pay the ransom.

If you haven’t been targeted, count your blessings. That said, it’s time to start thinking about having your IT managed and maintained to prevent issues like this. Contact MERIT Solutions at (757) 420-5150 and ask how we can help prevent business-crippling issues and security threats like WannaCry. your social media marketing partner


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Monday, 21 August 2017
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Cloud Technology Privacy Business Computing Best Practices Hackers Malware Hosted Solutions Backup Software Internet Network Security Productivity Computer Disaster Recovery google Business Microsoft Windows 10 Innovation IT Services Business Continuity Managed IT Services VoIP Hardware IT Support User Tips Outsourced IT Business Management communications Efficiency Email Mobility Windows Mobile Devices Managed IT Telephone Systems Server Ransomware Save Money Saving Money Productivity Virtualization Apps Smartphone Operating System Hosted Solution Mobile Device Management Quick Tips Android Password Data Small Business BDR Law Enforcement Information Technology Recovery Cybercrime Passwords browser Hacking Unsupported Software Avoiding Downtime BYOD Wireless Health Miscellaneous Computers Cybersecurity Money Social upgrade Communication Budget VPN Facebook Google Drive Gadgets Workplace Tips Automation Telephony Cloud Computing Alert USB Save Time Managed Service Provider Risk Management Office tips Private Cloud Chrome search Social Media App Work/Life Balance Smartphones Firewall Data Management Application Current Events Government Office 365 Microsoft Office Phishing Cleaning Update Wireless Technology Automobile IT solutions Users DDoS Holiday Mobile Computing Transportation Phone System Television Data Backup Shortcut Social Engineering Robot Streaming Media Applications Cost Management History Remote Computing End of Support Identity Theft WiFi Data Storage Proactive IT Best Practice Samsung Going Green Flexibility Bandwidth Internet of Things Audit The Internet of Things Spam Humor Disaster Compliance Wi-Fi Employer-Employee Relationship Antivirus Network Battery HaaS Saving Time Gmail Office Hacker Personal Information Internet Exlporer Computer Care Solid State Drive IT Support Black Market calculator Scam IT Management Relocation Access Politics Computer Fan Avoid Downtime Twitter Managed IT Services Commerce Shadow IT control Employer Employee Relationship WIndows Server 2008 iPhone Document Management PDF Experience Dark Web WSJ Data Breach Keyboard Data Recovery Exchange altivista Computer Accessories Patch Management Distributed Denial of Service Text Messaging Video Games Mobile Device Emails Business Intelligence Virtual Reality SBS Marketing compaq Outlook Music Nanotechnology Legal Apple Hiring/Firing Managed IT Service Encryption Wearable Technology Webinar hp Vendor Management Excel Artificial Intelligence Analytics Root Cause Analysis Laptop Uninterrupted Power Supply SaaS Benefits Instant Messaging domain IT solutions Regulation Worker Commute Big Data Augmented Reality Touchpad Unified Threat Management Screen Mirroring Reputation Managing Stress remote Windows 10s Yahoo Training Sync Advertising eWaste Books Scalability Upgrades Cast Education Running Cable Server 2008 Hard Disk Drive Data storage Router Ali Rowghani Company Culture Trending OneNote How To Consultant Smart Technology Data Security Administration User Error Chromecast Windows 10 Value Content Filtering Meetings Sports Two-factor Authentication server installation dvd "cannot install required files" HBO Colocation Vulnerability stock Tech Support Hard Drives Entertainment Electronic Medical Records Settings Files Touchscreen Lithium-ion battery Data Protection Point of Sale Administrator iOS tweet HIPAA

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Recent Comments

No comments yet.