We at Kappa believe an essential part of practicing secure computing is educating you to make smart computing decisions and keeping you up to date with the latest threats.
WannaCry ransomware made headlines recently as it infiltrated thousands of small and medium size businesses as well as larger organizations like telecommunications, schools and hospitals.
It was not the first ransomware infection of its kind, and it won’t be the last. For most businesses, the question isn’t if they will be hit, but when.
Cybercriminals are constantly releasing new variants with modified code that look to exploit
fresh loopholes, so the ransomware threat will remain persistent.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is often spread via spam or targeted email campaigns. Clicking a link or attachment activates the malware. It then moves to encrypt all your critical data, locks your system and prevents you from using your computers and systems.
To regain access to your data and systems, cybercriminals typically want a ransom paid via Bitcoin, as the digital currency is normally untraceable. If you don’t pay, you risk losing access to your data. If you pay, however, there is no guarantee you will get the data back.
What is WannaCry?
The now-infamous ransomware known as WannaCry, WannaCrypt or WannaCryptor 2.0 is a ransomware virus that holds computers hostage until the user meets the demands.What has made these variants so dangerous is that the ‘worm’ can travel to infect any connected computers in the network, even if they are protected by a firewall.
User Education is Key!
One mistake can compromise your entire system. Every user should be instructed on safe internet practicesMost Windows ransomware in recent months has been embedded in documents distributed as email attachments.
Don’t open any email or attachment from an email that you are not expecting even if it is from a known person.
Don't open an attachment that has an unusual icon or an unusual extension (especially ones like .pif, .scr, or .exe).
Don't let your curiosity put your computer at risk.
To open an attachment, first save it to your computer and then scan it with your antivirus software. Or even better, send to Kappa and allow us to verify whether it is a legitimate or fake email.
Do not click any link you can't verify.
Treat links like attachments. Only click it if you’re expecting it.
When in doubt, contact the supposed sender.
Hover your mouse over the text of the hyperlink (you should see the full URL, which will help to show whether it leads to a legitimate website).