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Ransomware WannaCry – how to stay safe

We imagine most of you have heard by now about recent cyber-attack by ransomware WannaCry. In this post we will try to explain what is going on. What is ransomware, what this particular virus strain did and how you can protect yourself . However bear in mind that no safety feature or method is 100% perfect. It is why always your own vigilance is the ultimate safety feature!

Ransomware WannaCry – what happend?

In the recent days a lot of public network of computers have been attacked by very nasty software called WannaCry. WannaCryptor  – it is another name it has. Over 200 thousand computer in 150 is affected. Just to give you few names – NHS hospitals, telecom companies like Telefonica or Russian Megafon, Fedex, Renault, Nissan, banks in China and more. The worst about this attack was the fact, that this particular malicious software has an ability to move in the networks by itself. Once inside a single computer that belongs to large network WannaCry is able to attack other computers.

WannaCry code, uses exploits holes in Windows systems. Simply it means, that if your device runs under any other system you are safe, this time. The exploit itself was found by US NSA agency and leaked to the internet. After that on 14.04 hacker group Shadow Brokers published the ready tool online and on 12.05 the attack begun. No one knows what triggered it. Ransomware encrypts all the data in your computer and asks you for a ransom – in this case $300 to be paid in Bitcoin.

Attack starts by an attachment to the e-mail message. Be extra careful about what sort of attachments do you open. And if you are affected – DO NOT PAY. The way attackers work and ask for cash. And the pure scale of the attack show, that most likely you will not get your files back. Hackers are simply unable to verify who did and who did not pay.

How can I prevent from being a victim of ransomware WannaCry and similar?

About two months ago Microsoft has prepared security update – MS17 – 010 to fix the exploit used by this ransomware. If you update your devices, your system and your applications on daily schedule – you are safe.

Our simple tips:

1. Always keep your software and devices up to date!

2. Never open attachments you do not asked for. If you are not 100% what is in your mailbox you can always call/e-mail sender to confirm the content.

3. Make sure your anti-virus software runs always in the back ground and that you do make a full system check from time to time.

4. Always have your firewall up and running

5. Make sure your VPN service is active when you are using the Internet.

Summary:

Those of you who wish to know more about worms, ransomware and this attack may wish to read the this post by the BBC. You can also use the comment section below. We will do our best to answer any questions you might have – also those about our VPN. And of course if you do not have an active VPN yet, try ours. It is free and thanks to our free VPN software very easy to setup and use.

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