According to Avast (a cyber security company), it had identified more than 75,000 ransomware attacks in 99 countries, making it one of the broadest and most damaging cyberattacks in history.
Criminals targeted hospitals, major companies and government offices and snatched computer control away from owners until victims paid a ransom to unlock them. (Selena Larson, Massive cyberattack targeting 99 countries causes sweeping havoc, May 13, 2017 http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/12/technology/ransomware-attack-nsa-microsoft/).
Ransomware Attacks are a Local and Global Threat
In my March blog post, I wrote of an Elk River health care provider that was hit with ransomware and wondered what or who would be next (see March blog post, http://rbsmn.com/blog/page/3/). I had no idea at the time the next one would be on such a massive scale.
Is your computer affected?
Whether your computer is or is not, individuals and businesses owners could take precautions by conducting a risk assessment. Anti-virus software and programs are only a part of a solution to preventing and/or suffering the consequences of a ransomware attack. Backing up data as well as training yourself or your staff is equally important. Often, ransomware gets into ones network when someone “lets it in” so to speak, by clicking on a bogus email. RB’s Computer Services can help with this.
Microsoft responded quickly to the May attack by offering a “patch” to enable users to regain control of their computers. But, what would you do if the next attack is not “patchable.” Is your data backed up? (Selena Larson, Microsoft quickly fixes ‘crazy bad’ Windows bug, May 9, 2017. http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/09/technology/microsoft-bug-remote-windows-patch/)
The latest WannaCry affects Windows machines, and you would know if you had been hacked.
That’s because WannaCry ransomware changes file extension names to “.WNCRY”, which encrypts them. Then it drops a ransom note into a text file on your computer, demanding bitcoin payment along with explaining what’s happened. (What is “bitcoin,” see link, http://money.cnn.com/infographic/technology/what-is-bitcoin/).
A countdown timer lets you know how much time you have to pay before the criminal will supposedly disclose or dispose of your data in one way or another.
Devise a Ransomware Strategy with RB’s
If you don’t have a ransomware strategy or don’t know where to start, contact RB’s Computer Service today. The cost of a ransomware infection goes beyond a bitcoin payment. For some businesses, especially in the health care industry, there are legal liabilities to protecting patient data, and having access to it in an emergency situation. Being “locked out” or “down” is simply not an option.
To devise a ransomware strategy, contact me via phone or email: 763-441-3884, firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to ransomware strategies, RB’s Computer Service sells the best commercial grade firewall routers, best laptop computers, best desktop computers, business computers, computer parts and computer monitors. We also provide managed IT services, computer repair, iPhone and smartphone repair and tablet repairs to customers and clients throughout central Minnesota and St. Cloud.