A recent global-scale cyber-attack hit thousands of computers, locking them down of their own personal files and demanding up to $300 worth of bitcoin to restore the original state of the computer – that amount doubles up after three days whether you want to get the decryption key or lose your files forever. Making matters worse, it goes through networks and servers that infect like a worm virus. This is now called the WannaCry ransomware. As of writing, it has infected more 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries – comprising hospitals, government authorities, banks, and even universities. Personal computers are also vulnerable – targeting old Windows OS without the latest patch available.
RANSOMWARE AFFECTED OS
Only three old OS can be affected by the WannaCry ransomware: Windows 8, XP, and Server2003. The latest OSsare free from the attack IF they are installed with the latest update: Windows 10, 8.1, Vista, 7, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, Server 2012 R2, Server 2016. Non-windows OS is free from the attack.
If you are one of the unlucky ones, here is a step-by-step process on how to protectcomputer from ransomware update 2017 .
KEEP WINDOWS UPDATE AND TURN ON AUTO-UPDATE
The best way to keep yourself from being attacked by the ransomware is to update to the latest Windows patch that you are using. You manually check all the available updates here. To download and install automatically from your computer: click the windows logo at the bottom-left, type “Windows Updates”, and open “Check for Updates”. Most users hated the auto-update feature of Windows 10 – as they turned it off, for good. But in this case, auto-updating might just save your files from being deleted.
INSTALL RANSOMWARE BLOCKER UPDATE 2017
One antivirus software is not enough to protect your computer, sooner or later, it can get passed by the security that the computer is currently using. To make sure that you’ll be able to protect yourself from ransomware, it is ideal to install a dedicated ransomware blocker like Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware or CybereasonRansomfree – both are free.
BLOCK PORT 445
MalwareTech posted on Twitter that “If you turn on a system without the MS17-010 patch and TCP port 445 open, your system can be ransomwared.” An in-depth guide how to block port 445 can be seen here.
WHAT IF IT IS AFFECTED BY RANSOMWARE
Apparently, there is no way to remove the ransomware for free – with customers opting to pay the ransom fee to restore their files and the computer to its original state. Luckily, the guys from Bleeping Computer provided a step-by-step process, though it’s not yet verified by trusted sources, it’s better than nothing, at the moment.
BACK IT UP TO THE CLOUD STORAGE
Cloud storage platform like Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive provides a good backup storage, in case your file were infected. This way, you can still restore the important information if the computer being used is affected. Carbonite – works the same way as other cloud platforms but can recover all the wannacry-encrypted files by running through the earlier versions. If you’re not affected yet by the ransomware, it is now a good idea to use a cloud platform as a backup storage. It’s free to register and the allowance for online storage can be expanded by paying a certain fee.
For affected users reading this, do not pay the ransom fee just to get your computer unlocked. It is not fixing the problem permanently and you are just letting your computer to be ransomware-free for a while and is still left vulnerable by the attacker, in case they did unlock your computer.Make sure to ask assistance from a trusted friend who knows something about computers and/or,browse the internet for the latest update regarding the attack and how to prevent it. The Internet is a free commodity that you have and thousands of users are already trying to prevent this attack and helping others by posting a prevention process just like this one.
Moving ahead, it is essential to give importance to the updates delivered by your OS, and not turning on the auto-update feature is costly for users as you leave yourself vulnerable to any kinds of attacks. Again, we can not stress this enough – updates are very important. By installing them, you are basically adding another layer of security in preventing hackers or attackers getting a hold of your files