The Basics of WannaCry and How to Protect Your Computer

You’ve probably heard about the new WannaCry ransomware virus that’s been infecting hundreds of thousands of computers in nearly 200 countries worldwide. It’s an extremely sinister Trojan virus and stopping it has proven to be quite difficult. The hackers who created the virus keep making modifications to the code, and as soon as malware experts figure out a way to stop it in one version, hackers modify the code so a newer version gets by the fixes and wreaks havoc all over again.

How does it Work?


First, the virus encrypts data in your computer denying you access. Then, it asks you for a payment of $300 in bitcoins to access the files again. If you haven’t paid the $300 ransom after three days, the figure increases to $600. After seven days and you haven’t made payment, the files are completely deleted.


The virus targets Windows computers running Windows Server 2003, 8 and XP. Even though these account for just slightly less than 20 percent of computers world-wide, it’s still a sizeable number. Windows XP isn’t quite as much of a problem as the infectious agent in the virus won’t spread into a network, but it will still affect the main machine. If you’re using Linux, MacOS, ChromeOS or a mobile operating system like Android or iOS, the virus won’t affect you at all.




What can you do to prevent this new computer threat from affecting you? The first thing is to use common sense. If you’ve been backing up your data on a regular basis, especially to a cloud-storage service, it won’t make any difference if you lose the data on your hard drive. Just recover it when things are back to normal and you should be in great shape.


Additional Preventive Measures


Make sure you never open an email from someone you don’t know that contains an attachment. Turn on Windows Update if it’s been disabled, and make sure you’ve downloaded the latest security patches for your operating system. Finally, make sure you’re running a good ransomware blocker like Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware or Cybereason Ransomfree which are updated almost daily with the latest and most up-to-date versions.


What if you’re already infected?


To be frank, if you are already infected with the virus, you have a major problem. Call your IT support company. Paying the ransom is probably the easiest road to follow, at least right now, but unfortunately that gives them exactly what they want. Experts are working on ransomware removal programs that may work in the future, but it’s a difficult process that’s made even more difficult by the fact that the perpetrators are continually modifying the code.

The WannaCry ransomware virus has been one of the worst cyberattacks the computer industry has seen this century. It will not be the last. Every system that’s infected with WannaCry automatically begins infecting other systems without any human intervention. This is a major departure from phishing or chickbait malware in the past and is an awesome reminder that the world is continually becoming more and more vulnerable to similar techniques in the future.


Article by David Share from Amazing Support

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