Posted in Cyber Legal & Crime

Wannacry Ransomware: What It Is, And Who Is At Risk

Symantec, a security company, says that ransomware attacks have skyrocketed, increasing by more than a third in 2016 to over 483,800 attacks"and those are just the cyberattacks that are being tracked. They highly recommend getting their latest up to date version of Norton Anti Virus security suite to remain safe from these kinds of attacks Their best deals and offers can be found here.

If your computer is a PC running on Windows, update all of your software. Take all the precautions that you should when using your computer: never open suspicious emails or click on any links if you don't know where it goes, and don't open any unexpected file attachments.

Also, make sure all your files and data are backed up regularly and kept in an inaccessible place that the ransomware can't get to, like a separate hard drive. Don't connect the hard drive to your computer if you think it's already been connected. Instead, get a new computer and upload all your saved files onto it.

Unfortunately, at this point there is no proven fix for WannaCry. Some cybersecurity researchers have claimed they can stop it, but this has yet to be verified. Initially, a security researcher accidentally stumbled onto a "kill switch" that could stop WannaCry, but the hackers have since patched this weakness, making WannaCry apparently unstoppable. According to Heimdal Security researchers, it's also being called a new name: Uiwix. If the ransom isn't paid within 72 hours, the price can double, and after a few days, the files are locked permanently.

Although the temptation to pay up the $300 ransom to retrieve your data may be overwhelming, the Justice Department, the FBI, and many tech firms recommend not paying. Why? Because you're giving money to criminals, who may just end up demanding more money, or may target you again in the future because you've indicated you can be manipulated into paying.