Advice following global WannaCrypt ransomware incident

This weekend a large cyber attack called WannaCrypt hit thousands of systems worldwide. It takes advantage of vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows and if infected encrypts all your files, holding them to ransom.

Almost all versions of Windows affected

It is a common misconception that the bug affects only Windows XP, in fact it affects all versions of Windows except Windows 10. A patch was released by Microsoft on March 14th for all supported operating systems (Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016). If you have automatic updates on, you should already be protected. If you are one of our Proactive Maintenance customers, your devices were patched automatically back in March.

If you are running an unsupported version of Windows such as XP, Microsoft have released a patch especially in the past few days. However it is strongly recommended that you do not run an unsupported operating system, as there are many other unpatched vulnerabilities.

If you have a device that has been infected, it is vital that the machine is isolated and disconnected from the network as soon as possible or it will spread to other un-patched machines. Contact us if you need assistance and we can get you back up and running quickly.

Recommendations

  1. Ensure your operating system is a currently supported version. If it is not supported, contact us to upgrade as soon as possible.
  2. Make sure you have all available Windows Updates installed and that they are set to be installed automatically.
  3. Use a good antivirus product. Make sure virus definitions are set to update at least once a day so that you are protected against the latest threats. Get in touch if you don’t have one already.
  4. The only way to restore your files is by restoring backups, so it is vital that you have a robust backup procedure in place and that backups are checked regularly.
  5. If you run a business, consider trialling our Proactive Maintenance service which ensures your devices are kept fully up to date with the latest patches, and checks your backups daily – giving you peace of mind that your data is safe and your systems are secure. Contact us for more information.

External Links

Microsoft – Consumer Guidance for WannaCrypt attacks.