Picture for illustration purposes only.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
LONDON – As the world goes back to work today, companies are preparing for more effects of the cyberattack that occurred last Friday, considered as the biggest ever after it affected millions of computers in private and government offices in at least 150 countries.
A ransomware called “WannaCry” was unleashed late last Friday that infected computers via a vulnerability in outdated Microsoft Windows system.
The ransomware locked users out of their computers, preventing them from accessing their files, and demanded payment to regain control of them. The “ransom” sought was US$300 but the price went up as the hours ticked by.
Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability last March but computers and network that did not update their systems fell victim to the ransomware.
European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol is still analyzing “WannaCry” and finding out who’s responsible for the cyberattack.
According to Europol, the ransomware infected computers and networks in at least 150 countries, victimizing 200,000 users. CNN quoted computer experts as raising fear that the problem could expand as people report back to work and turn on their computers.
Israel Levy, chief executive officer of the cybersecurity company Bufferzone, told CNN that a strain of the ransomware has been found to be vicious in that cnce it infects one computer within a network, it can spread to all the computers in that network “within seconds.”
Europol director Rob Wainwright said in a separate CNN interview: “we will get a decryption tool eventually but for the moment, it’s still a live threat and we’re still in disaster recovery mode.”
Meanwhile, computer experts have suggested the following ways to protect oneself from any cyberattack. They are:
*Install any software updates immediately and make it a regular habit. Turn on auto-updaters where available.
*Regularly save computer files in a backup system so you can still access them even if your computer gets infected.
*Don’t click on links that you don’t recognize or download files from persons you don’t know personally. GAC/Expat Media
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