The latest ransomware attack is an eye opener. The WannaCry virus which attacked workstations in networks of over 150 countries is so far one of the most devastating cyber-attack in history.
The virus disguised as a phishing email attachment was widespread. With major heavyweights such as FedEx, Nissan and many hospitals in U.K as casualties. Although no conclusive evidence was presented, the NSA believes North Korea was behind the attack.
WannaCry and How Ransomware Works
WannaCry is a ransomware virus that takes advantage of any loopholes in your operating system. It runs a ransomware code that encrypts important files on your system. The virus then quickly replicates itself across your entire computer network. The attacks usually demand a ransom payment via bitcoin to unlock the attacked systems.
As earlier stated, this virus comes in some tricky way maybe as an attachment in an unsolicited email or ads for some illicit websites. The ads usually cover a portion of your screen trying to trick you into clicking it. The virus uses an anti-sandboxing mechanism to evade anti-virus detection.
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
To prevent and protect your system from this ruthless attacks, they are some key steps to take.
- Use top notch antivirus software that is up to date to secure your system: this includes your mobile devices. You must ensure you have a strong firewall and that your antivirus software is always updated. Never download an unverified app on your mobile device or computer. This is a critical step to ensuring that your computer(s) are safe.
- Keep a routine backup habit and maintain a strong recovery program: by backing your files up on an external hard drive or in the cloud, you reduce the threat of this attack. There are also some third party off – site storage providers who ensure your files are safe from such attacks. With this in place, if ever you are attacked by a ransomware virus you can just wipe your HDD and simply restore your files.
- Never click on unsolicited links or attachments: when in doubt the source of an email, delete it. Always play safe, and be careful when you receive an email with attachments.
- Ensure your system is running on the latest operating security update: this is especially important for Windows users. Always to get the latest Windows security updates on your system. This is essential in keeping your system safe.
- Enable pop-up and ad blockers: pop-up ads is a routine trick used by attackers. Avoid this infected pop-ups by immediately closing the ads.
In conclusion, these attacks are sometimes hard to detect and the results can be life-threatening. Consider those hospitals that experienced this attacks, it literally put the lives of patients at risk.
Learning how to prevent and protect your system from these attacks is very important. Ensure your systems are routinely updated. The recent WannaCry attack has shown how devastating this virus is and you must ensure you don’t fall a victim of the ransomware attacks.