WannaCry Ransomware Cyberattack
A major worldwide ransomware cyberattack, referred to as WannaCry, hit critical infrastructure and government computers starting mid-May, prompting warnings, patches, and other support to those that may have already been infected or who may be looking to prevent infection. Affected industries worldwide include healthcare, railway operations, mail delivery, government offices, schools, and factories. This is the largest ransomware infection in history.
CNET reports over 100,000 organizations were affected in 150 countries, including the United States. This attack spread rapidly and infected hundreds of thousands of systems. Ransomware attacks hold systems and data in exchange for a payment. In this case, the attackers are demanding approximately $200-$300 to unlock each system. Media reports the attackers could make over $1 billion.
Three very basic things can keep your networks clear:
- Do not click on links in emails or download files attached to emails unless you are expecting them and have verified their authenticity;
- Install software patches or updates on all personal and work devices;
- Back up your data!
If your data is properly and regularly backed up, an attack like this won’t pose as much of a problem. The devices and network can be wiped clean and the backed-up data can be restored. The key is to update often and regularly, even daily or several times a day right now as we know this attack is rampant.
For more information on this attack and how to protect your organizational and personal devices, see:
• FBI and DHS published alert listing indicators of the ransomware (PDF, 190 Kb);
• The interagency report “How to Protect Your Networks from Ransomware” (PDF, 631 Kb) provides best practices and mitigation strategies for prevention and response;
• HelpNetSecurity also has a guide on protecting systems from ransomware with actions ranging from the technical level to the human level.
If you suspect a cyberattack, contact your state police or regional FBI Field Office.
Article published in Medical Office Manager