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.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Captcha Image

Tag Cloud

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

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Recent Comments

Anna Jackson 5 SEO Tools To Get a Google-Eye View of Your Website
15 September 2017
Hello Randall! I was doing very important work but due to your subject I felt better to stay at you...
David Miller Not all project-management tools are right for all businesses
25 August 2017
All the points depicted by you in this blog is v.apt. I love the title of this blog because it says ...