By now, you would have already heard about the WannaCry Ransomware, and would be wondering what's going on and whether your computer is secure or not.
What is a WannaCry Ransomware? Is it a virus or Trojan, and do you need a patch to fix it? Here's everything that you need to know about the WannaCry Ransomware and ways to protect your system from it.
WannaCry or WannaCrypt is a type of Ransomware (malicious software) that encrypts the computer's hard disk drive and then spreads between computers on the same local area network (LAN). WannaCry Ransomware also spreads through malicious attachments in emails.
WannaCry Ransomware encrypts the files on infected Windows computers and spreads by using vulnerability in implementations of server message block (SMB) in the Windows operating systems.
Nearly 100 countries, including India, were hit by this massive WannaCry Ransomware. Once infected, users are asked to pay $300 in Bitcoins to retrieve their files.
Ways to Protect Your System from WannaCry Ransomware
Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) has issued a red-colored 'critical alert' . It has advised the Windows users and organizations to apply patches to Windows operating system. It said that this WannaCry Ransomware was targeting common file extensions like PPT, DOC, and TIFF, MP4 and MKV files.
Update Your System
Update your Windows operating system and install all new patches. Install the Microsoft fix MS17-010 right away to protect your system from WannaCry Ransomware. After the installation of Microsoft fix, reboot your system.
Beware of dubious Emails, Websites and Apps
WannaCry Ransomware spreads through phishing emails, malicious adverts on websites, and dubious apps and software programs. Your best defense is to avoid clicking on such dubious emails and ads. Install software and apps that are directly downloaded from official websites, services or online stores.
Install Antivirus Software
Leading Antivirus software provides tools to remove these types of Ransomware. Make use of such antivirus software tools, it helps you remove viruses and malware quickly and painlessly. Moreover, Antivirus software actively monitors your computer and blocks all incoming threats, while quarantining or deleting all dubious software.
Backup your System
Create secure backups of important data right away in a completely separate system. Cloud storage is another option that you can consider, but it makes your data vulnerable to all other kinds of attacks. Make sure you have a secure backup of all the important data all the time.
Don’t Pay Money
Paying money (Ransom) doesn’t guarantee its removal from your system or the safe retrieval of your files. Moreover, there is a possibility of hackers striking you again and demanding more money.
It is a known fact that computers which are not updated regularly are susceptible to more cyber-attacks than the ones which are regularly updated. So update all OS software and install updates & patches, delete all emails from dubious sources, avoid dubious websites and downloads, and backup important data on a regular basis. This should help you protect your system from Ransomware attacks.