As the largest scale Ransomware attack in the world continues to spread, India is vulnerable, but not powerless. Here’s how we can fight it.
Important Update: K7 has released a free anti-WannaCry scanner/software to quickly check whether you have been infected. Click here to download. Retrieve your composure and peace of mind.
Over the weekend, WannaCry, a dangerous ransomware, sparked global panic, locking over 200,000 systems across 150 countries, including India. Before the second wave hits, here are some things you need to know about the attack, about the malware, and most importantly, how you can protect yourself.
The threat is very real in India. At K7 we have received calls from all over the country, and have been monitoring releases and updates from CERT-In, Kerala Police and others. This strain exploits an unpatched Microsoft vulnerability, a critical flaw in an operating system component, to spread, particularly in earlier versions of the Windows OS, i.e. prior to Windows 10. We expect new variants in the coming days to cause more damage.
Ransomware has been an increasingly prevalent danger in India and around the world since 2013. WannaCrypt or WannaCry is not the first, but is the most successful, ransomware attack in history.
No other ransomware in the past has exploited a very recently-discovered MS vulnerability to spread, which makes WannaCry deadly. The transactions are also made in cryptocurrency (bitcoin), which makes it technically and legally extremely challenging to track.
How can we now guard ourselves from ransomware and other malware?
Advice such as patching the OS and other software, and avoiding pirated software holds good in all circumstances against many other malware too. In fact Microsoft is going out of their way to release patches. They’ve even released patches for Windows XP. It pays to note that over 95% of the cases occur in pirated OS. To download the latest patch click here.
In addition, it’s a good idea to avoid emails from unknown sources, especially if they contain attachments or website links. And backing up important files is crucial to be able to retrieve your data in the event of a ransomware attack.
Above all this, using good, up-to-date security software is very important too. To download the trial version of K7 Antivirus click here.
While it can be easy for individuals to update their antivirus configuration, what can be done at an enterprise level? How can they save time and effort?
Enterprise security software has configuration management already built-in designed for the ease and convenience of IT Admins. There are also multiple protection levels which are tweaked for Enterprise by default to save the IT Admin from extra hassle and stress.
For any custom solutions there are dedicated Enterprise Support personnel to help the IT Admins deploy and configure Enterprise solutions.
- Educate yourself about securing systems, devices and data
- Ensure your OS and installed software are updated with the latest patches/updates
- Avoid pirated OS and software
- Use good, up-to-date security software (generally not free)
- For K7 free WannaCry scanner click here
- For K7 Antivirus trial version click here
- For Windows patches
Windows Server 2003 SP2 – 64 bit
- For ATM/Desktops using XP
Windows XP SP2 – 64 bit