The latest, and most prevalent virus attack in recent history is the Wannacry Virus, and while we’re still reeling from the continued fallout, there are a number of key points that we already know, that could help us in the future.
WCry, Wancry, Wannacry…it’s Just Ransomware
There are plenty of names for it, but the bottom line is this – if you’re hit then you’ll need to pay someone to get your information back safely. Ransomware is designed to hide or move your files and information until the ransomer receives payment and releases it. Get in touch with the authorities, speak to Microsoft, get the best intelligence you can, and then make a qualified business decision.
The Hackers are No Joke
The Shadow Brokers are the hacking group behind this attack. They first gained notoriety last year, when they hacked the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US, and stole advanced hacking tools, thought to be designed as countermeasures in the event of an attack similar to Wannacry.
It Targets a Gap in Microsoft Windows Security…Kind Of…
Ironically, the attack was related to a security shortcoming that Microsoft had already repaired. The patch had been released a few months ago and anyone running advanced versions of Windows were well protected. However, due to Microsoft not prioritising legacy versions of Windows, users of older versions were susceptible to the attack. It should be said that Microsoft reacted quickly, and the opportunity for attacks was reduced as a result – but the repair is not a cure and many Windows users are still left scratching their head, and considering their options.
Updates, Updates, Updates…
The critical takeaway for users is this – if you get a security update, don’t delay it or wait for a more opportune time to download it. These updates are often created with specific attacks in mind, and delays can cost you serious time and money – both in downtime and, in many cases, payments to unscrupulous hackers. Remember, this attack wasn’t based on a gap in Windows security, instead it was making the most of the lag time between the creation of a security patch and how quickly Microsoft rolls it out, and users implement. Don’t be a statistic of the next attack.