Crypto Ransomware Advice

As you may have heard in the news there has been a large scale cyber attack targeting Windows machines in the last 48 hours. There haven’t been any reported incidents in New Zealand yet and security researchers have found a kill switch. With the work week starting I feel it’s important that we are all aware and stay vigilant in the coming weeks.

Here’s a few points to remember when opening emails:

  • Is the email expected – Are you expecting an email from this recipient? Sometimes legitimate email accounts can be hacked and the hacker sends emails to their recipients.
  • Links in emails – Hackers often send emails that look like they are from your bank or similar. Be sure to check the link by hovering over it with your mouse. This is known as ‘phishing’.
  • Email attachments – Never open an unknown attachment, and even from people you know and trust, always scan for malware before opening.

Specifically, on May 12, 2017 a new strain of the Ransom.CryptXXX (WannaCry) strain of ransomware began spreading widely impacting a large number of organisations, particularly in Europe.

Wcry is demanding a ransom of $300 to $600 USD in Bitcoin to be paid by May 15, or, in the event that deadline is missed, a higher fee by May 19. The messages left on the screen say files will remain encrypted. It’s not yet clear if there are flaws in the encryption scheme that might allow the victims to restore the files without paying the ransom.

If you have yet to install the Microsoft fix—MS17-010— you should do so immediately (Please note that our managed clients machines have been patched). You should also be extremely suspicious of all e-mails you receive, particularly those that ask the recipient to open attached documents or click on Web links.

If you need help implementing better security practices in your business, give us a call at 06 8438363 or email info@justintech.co.nz.

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