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.

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 21 May 2018

Captcha Image

Tag Cloud

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

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 ...