Last week, a new ransomware called “WannaCry” spread rapidly around the world, with reports that on May 12, 2017, people in 74 countries have been hit with more than 45,000 reported attacks. That outbreak focused in Russia and Europe, but spread rapidly to all parts of the globe. As of this morning, a second variant of the virus was reported in China.
Similar to most other ransomware, WannaCry infects a computer after a user opens an email attachment, and then encrypts all data files it can access, including text, video, audio, PDF and many other file types. At last report, WannaCry was demanding ransoms of the equivalent of $300-$600 in Bitcoin.
The attack is described as a cyber weapon of mass destruction because it is targeting a known exploit by scanning the internet for at-risk machines and targeting the email addresses associated with them. Some security researchers are stating that they believe this new ransomware variant is based on hacking tools that were stolen and exposed from the National Security Agency.
What is VPSG doing?
We have been monitoring our clients systems and receiving updates from our antivirus vendor, Webroot. Webroot currently has strong protection in place for this virus and has fortified its protection and detection routines to protect users against future variants that may appear.
What should you do?
As always, do not click links in emails that seem suspicious or from people you don’t know and trust. Watch out for attachments in ZIP file format that claim to be invoices or similar documents.
If you have any concerns, err on the side of caution. Feel free to contact VPSG with any questions.