WannaCry Ransomware: Here are 6 steps you can follow to prevent cyber attack
1. The 'WannaCry' ransomware attacked the computers across the world on May 12, Friday
2. According to media reports, the cyber-attack is set to have impacted 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries
3. 'WannaCry' ransomware locks access to user files and demands money -- in the form of the virtual currency Bitcoin - to decrypt them
As the 'WannaCry' ransomware is spreading across the globe with the governments and companies informing people to update Microsoft Windows XP software in their computer machines before they logging to theirs systems to prevent attack by such malware, we managed to bring you some measures that will help you to prevent such ransomware attacks.
The 'WannaCry' ransomware attacked the computers across the world on May 12, Friday.
According to Microsoft website, ransomware are of different types and they can target any PC users, whether it’s a home computer, endpoints in an enterprise network, or servers used by a government agency or healthcare provider.
Ransomware will demand that you pay money (a “ransom”) to get access to your PC or files, cited the company's website.
There is no guarantee that paying the fine or doing what the ransomware tells you will give access to your PC or files again, it said.
Computers around the globe were hacked beginning from last Friday using a security flaw in Microsoft`s Windows XP operating system, an older version that was no longer given mainstream tech support by the US giant, AFP reported on May 14.
The so-called 'WannaCry' ransomware locks access to user files and demands money -- in the form of the virtual currency Bitcoin -- in order to decrypt them, it said.
The ransomware called 'WannaCrypt' or 'WannaCry' encrypts the computer's hard disk drive and then spreads laterally between computers on the same LAN. The ransomware also spreads through malicious attachments to emails, according to India's Cyber Swachhta Kendra website.
The AFP news report citing the experts said the ransomware programme appears to support dozens of languages, showing that the hackers wanted to corrupt networks worldwide.
High-profile victims include hospitals in Britain, the Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, French carmaker Renault, US package delivery company FedEx, Russia`s interior ministry and the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn, the AFP report said.
According to European Union's police agency Europol the latest cyber-attack is set to have impacted 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries and the number would increase when people return to work on Monday, Reuters reported.
Europol Director Rob Wainwright told ITV`s Peston on Sunday programme that what was unique about the attack was that the ransomware was used in combination with "a worm functionality" so the infection spread automatically.
"The global reach is unprecedented. The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, and those victims, many of those will be businesses, including large corporations," Reuters said quoting Rob, as saying.
In fact, less than $70,000 has been paid in a "ransomware" cyberattack that has affected about 150 countries worldwide, IANS reported quoting the White House as saying on Monday.
"We are not aware of payments that have led to any data recovery," the news agency report said quoting White House Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert as saying at a daily briefing.
The IANS report quoting Bossert said the ransomware attack, known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt, has infected more than 300,000 machines in about 150 countries but the good news is "the infection rates have slowed over the weekend."
Specially, no US federal systems are affected, he said.
Bossert said the ransomware has three variants but patching systems can help protest against all these variants.
On Sunday, Microsoft slammed the US National Security Agency (NSA) because vulnerabilities used for the attack was first discovered by the spy agency, but it chose to keep them secret until they were stolen and leaked, cited the report.
"This was a vulnerability exploit as one part of a much larger tool that was put together by the culpable parties and not by the US government," Bossert argued. "This was not a tool developed by the NSA to hold ransom data."
Back home, the Indian government's Law and Justice and Information Technology (IT) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a news agency on Monday that there was no serious impact of global cyber attack in the country.
"No serious impact in India of global #CyberAttack, National Informatics System (NIC) working fine," ANI news agency tweeted IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as saying.
Bharat pe koi vishesh asar nahi pada,isolated incidents hain,unhe contain kar rahe hain. Monitoring chal rahi hai:RS Prasad on cyber attacks pic.twitter.com/li7FePwern
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 15, 2017
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks on Monday to operate their ATM networks only after machines receive a Windows update in order to protect them from a malware which is impacting the systems across the globe, The Times of India reported.
The Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT) alerted 25 organisations and issued an advisory to Airports Authority of India (AAI), Indian Railways, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), National Informatics Centre (NIC), BSE for ransomware, Zee Business channel reported.
"CERT alerted 25 organisations. ADVISORY ISSUED TO AAI, Railways, RBI, NPCI, NIC, BSE for Ransomware," Zee Business channel reporter Aseem Manchanda tweeted on Monday.
CERT alerted 25 organisations. ADVISORY ISSUED TO AAI, Railways, RBI, NPCI, NIC, BSE for Ransomware @ZeeBusiness
— Aseem Manchanda (@aseemmanchanda) May 15, 2017
Following the rapid spread of WannaCry cyber attack, IT minister Prasad issued steps to secure computer from the ongoing ransomware on Twitter on Tuesday.
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) May 16, 2017
Here are 6 practices you can follow to prevent your computers from ransomware attacks:
1. Perform regular backups of all critical information
2. Don't open attachments in unsolicited e-mail, and never click on a URL contained in an unsolicited e-mail
3. Maintain updated anti-virus software on all systems
4. Keep the operating system third party applications up-to-date with the latest patches
5. Restrict users' permissions to install and run unwanted applications
6. Enable personal firewalls on workstations
Therefore, if you get sense of such 'WannaCry' ransomware attack on your computer machine try contacting the hardware technician to update Windows XP and anti-virus software on your machine to prevent such malware infection.