The new ransomware called WannaCry, started on May 12 2017, which encrypts files on the computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating systems and demands the payment up to $300 in the cryptocurrency bitcoin to receive a decryption key.
It also behaves like a worm which is potentially infecting computer and servers on the same network.
The ransomware WannaCry has attacked more than 150 countries and 200,000 computers worldwide, shutting down banks, universities, hospitals, where Microsoft’s Windows operating systems used.
The ransomware WannaCry targets a Windows operating system flaw in older versions of the Windows OS that have not been patched and has not been updated.
The attack exploits a vulnerability in older Windows operating systems,:
Windows Server 2003
At the moment, there’s no way to reverse the encryption for free.
If you’re using a more recent version of Windows i.e. windows 10, windows 8.1, windows 7 and if your computers are getting installed the new updates from Microsoft you should not be vulnerable to the current iteration of the WannaCry ransomware.
How to Protect Your Computer from Ransomware virus
Here are some tips to avoid this cyber-attack.
Don’t Click Unidentified Links and don’t Open Suspicious Downloads
This Ransomware can be spread by multiple methods, such as clicking on the malicious website, downloading infected files etc. You have to install internet security software like Kaspersky, Bitdefender which support Surfing Protection feature.
Backup Important files
To avoid losing your files, especially by ransomware attack, it is better to develop a habit of making a backup of files regularly. You can keep your files on google drive, Dropbox, flash drive or Portable Hard Drive.
Turn Windows Update on if it’s disabled
If you have disabled automatic updates, you need to turn on. This attack doesn’t exist in Windows 10, the latest version of the software. Microsoft has found the problem and build a security patch.
Block port 445 for extra safety
Warning for Monday: If you turn on a system without the MS17-010 patch and TCP port 445 open, your system can be ransomwared.
— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) May 15, 2017
Keep Your System and Applications Up-to-Date
This kind of attack often uses the vulnerability of the old and unsupported operating systems and applications to spread infection. So it is necessary to keep your system and applications up-to-date.
Install a ransomware blocker
The Most effective way to block ransomware from your computer is to use an anti-ransomware tool or ransomware blocker. Antivirus that you are using may not offer protection against ransomware, so you need to install dedicated anti-ransomware software. Currently, there are two anti-ransomware utility Cybereason Ransomfree and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware (currently in beta).
If it’s not, or you’re pretty sure you don’t have any kind of safeguard beyond your patched version of Windows, install a dedicated anti-ransomware utility. Two free options: Cybereason Ransomfree and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware (currently in beta).
Can I get infected on my phone or tablet?
Ransomware- most notably WannaCry/WannaCrypt — is a Windows-specific form of malware. It’s designed to target the Windows operating system and the files contained therein, so it’s not a threat to mobile OS like Android and iOS. But you should remember not to click on the suspicious links in emails and on suspicious websites and don’t forget to use Antivirus
What if I’m already infected?
At the moment, there’s no way to reverse the encryption for free. So many individuals and organisations are paying the ransom if their computers are already locked down. However, Bleeping Computer has a guide to removing the ransomware. we don’t know the efficacy of that process, but the important thing to note is the malware will remains on afflicted PCs even after they’ve been unlocked.