You may have heard about the ransomware
attack that is has hit businesses, hospitals and individuals in all corners of the planet over the past few weeks.
What is WannaCry?
It's the name for the latest version of a computer hack known as "ransomware
" that holds your computer hostage until you pay a ransom. WannaCry
is attacking a vulnerability in Microsoft XP that was originally discovered by America's National Security Agency and is locking people and businesses out of their data and threatening to delete everything unless a ransom is paid.
How does it work?
infects a computer it encrypts all the data and puts up a demand screen asking for money to release the data being held hostage. Often the hackers
will give you a set time to pay before destroying your data. Sadly, it's effective and the ransoms paid encourage more hackers
to try their luck.
How do I protect against ransomware?
Ensure your software is up to date and you have a valid antivirus software subscription. Never open suspicious emails, open any files you weren't expecting or click on links you don’t know. Hover links to see if the URL matches the text – hackers
will try to hide malicious links behind safe-looking text with a familiar website URL.
What if they’ve already infected me?
Sadly there is no known cure for a WannaCry
infection. A “kill switch” was found in the code by a security researcher shortly after WannaCry
began to spread but the hackers
have already released a new attack without the vulnerability.
Wiping your machine and restoring from backups is the best way to go – a security expert can help you do this and protect you against future attacks.
Can WannaCry infect my iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android or Tablet?
only affects computers powered by Microsoft Windows. An update Microsoft released in March protects against this vulnerability, and more recently the tech giant released more updates for computers running older OS like XP, Vista, and Windows 7 & 8.
Your phone, tablet or Mac will be fine but it might be worth consulting with a security expert to protect your devices.
How to protect yourself further
If you haven’t been hit now is the time to take some backups. It’s a great idea to take regular backups of your files and folders to ensure you don’t lose valuable data. A cloud storage account will make you less reliant on your hard-drive which can be vulnerable to failure however it’s also good to have a backup drive as well as a cloud drive.
You could also look at upgrading your equipment and software as older devices are more susceptible to attacks as support is slowly withdrawn. Talk to Technology Traders
– the technology repair experts the place to go to buy, sell, repair and trade phones, tablets, laptops and computers for those who value reliability and convenience.