Last Friday, on the 12th of May 2017, a global cyber-attack infected approximately 230,000 computers in up to 150 countries worldwide with ransomware.
The WannaCry ransomware program has primarily attacked Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan but many others have also been affected, such as Germany, Spain, the US, as well as the NHS in Britain, resulting in massive disruption.
Once it has infected a system, this malicious software encrypts computer files. According to Rob Wainwright, Europol’s chief, the cyber-attack was “unprecedented in scale” and is likely the most widespread cyberattack in history.
The most important thing to know about the cyberware attack is that an up-to-date Microsoft Windows operating system (like Windows 10) should not be affected by the ransomware.
This attack is also more focused at corporations and businesses, rather than individuals. Larger institutions, like Britain's National Health Service and comapnies like FedEx are those most at risk from this cyber-attack.
WPX Hosting recommends updating your Operating System to the latest version and for additional safety, we encourage you to scan your computer for Malware with your own PC Security software before opening any web browsers.
Those currently using out-of-date or unsupported Windows operating systems (such as Windows XP and Windows 8) are currently the most at risk from this malicious ransomware attack.
The WannaCry (or WannaCrypt) ransomware program spreads mainly through phishing emails but can also directly infect systems that are left exposed by not having the latest security updates installed.
On May 14th, Microsoft released an emergency patch to assist all users at risk from this massive cyber-attack. The patch can be found here and will update your system to help prevent the ransomware infection.
After only three days, hundreds of thousands of computers have been afflicted with this ransomware; the program encrypts files and demands a paid ransom of $300 in Bitcoin for their decryption. Attacking 150 countries in 28 different languages, this Cyber-attack is indeed one of the most wide-spread online attacks ever.
Although a temporary solution to Friday's cyber-attack was found, unfortunately this is likely not the end of the cyber-attack and after the weekend, businesses and corporations world-wide are bracing themselves for a second phase to this ransomware attack.
In the mean time, the critical patch released by Microsoft removes the current underlying vulnerability and we at WPX Hosting encourage everyone on older operating systems to upgrade with this new patch.
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