Wordfence, the company that created one of the best security plugins for WordPress websites, has issued a PSA (Public Service Announcement) about a new strain of ransomware that that is spreading across the internet.
Ransomware is a kind of malicious script or software that installs itself on your computer without your knowledge. Once it’s installed and running, it will lock down your system and won’t allow you to access any files or programs on that computer. SOURCE: WORDFENCE
WannaCry — the name of the ransomware virus that infected over 200,000 individuals and organizations world wide — has morphed into a new strain and is exploiting a vulnerability computers with Windows operating systems: Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003.
Wordfence offers these suggestions for protecting yourself from the WannaCry ransomware:
- If you use Windows, install the patch that Microsoft has released to block the specific exploit that the WannaCry ransomware is using. You can find instructions on this page in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. You can also directly download the patches for your OS from the Microsoft Update Catalog.
- If you are using an unsupported version of Windows like Windows XP, Windows 2008 or Server 2003, you can get the patches for your unsupported OS from the Update Catalog. We do recommend that you update to a supported version of Windows as soon as possible.
- Update your Antivirus software definitions. Most AV vendors have now added detection capability to block WannaCry.
- If you don’t have anti-virus software enabled on your Windows machine, we recommend you enable Windows Defender which is free.
- Backup regularly and make sure you have offline backups. That way, if you are infected with ransomware, it can’t encrypt your backups.
- For further reading, Microsoft has released customer guidance for the WannaCry attacks and Troy Hunt has done an excellent detailed writeup on the WannaCry ransomware.
Take a moment and read Wordence’s articles. Learn more about this insidious malware.