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What is the WannaCryptor Virus?

This past month, a new variant of the CryptoLocker virus was released into the wild and has already infected over 185,000 systems in 100 different countries. This particular strain is known as WannaCry, Wana Decrypt0r, WannaCryptor, or WCRY.

As mentioned above, WannaCryptor is a new variant of the CryptoLocker virus. CryptoLocker viruses are nasty things that encrypt all of your files once they get into your system. Unfortunately, once infected, the only way to get your files back by paying a ransom. With the way encryption works, unless you have the encryption key, you can’t unlock your files, and you can’t get the encryption key without paying the ransom.

How do I avoid it?

Most CryptoLocker viruses are transmitted by email. By opening up an infected email or attachment, you could be accidentally allowing the virus into your system. By being vigilant and not opening suspicious email, you can generally avoid your computer getting infected. The other way that a CryptoLocker virus could infect your computer is through a vulnerability in your web browser or a program that accesses the internet. The best way to prevent this sort of infection is by keeping all of your programs up to date and, more importantly, having a good antivirus program installed.

The WannaCryptor variant works a little differently. Rather than just being spread through email or a browser exploit, WannaCryptor uses a vulnerability in Windows to install itself and begin encrypting your files. Once a computer has been infected, WannaCryptor will then scan the network for other vulnerable computers and infect them too. The best protection against this CryptoLocker variant is a good antivirus and the most recent Windows Updates.

Am I vulnerable?

Rather than looking to see if your computer is vulnerable, instead, check to see if you’re doing everything you can to stay protected.

First, run Windows Update. Microsoft has already put out an update that removes the vulnerability that this virus exploits. So by running Windows Update, you can ensure that you are protected from this style of exploit. Keeping Windows up-to-date with the most recent updates is important as Microsoft regularly publishes security updates, as well as updates general updates for your computer. This is not only useful for protecting against the WannaCryptor virus, but also for protecting against other viruses that might be trying to infect your computer. Other updates will also update background applications, fixing small bugs and issues that have been found, giving you an all round smoother Windows experience.

The next thing to do is to make sure that you have a good antivirus installed. Our Managed Antivirus Solution is a perfect example as it has helped to protect all of our clients from the WannaCryptor virus. Having a good antivirus is more than just about being protected from the newest, nastiest viruses. Your antivirus should also be protecting your computer from all major viruses as well as removing any infections that may have gotten onto your system.

If you are currently using our Managed Antivirus solution, you are currently protected from this threat, but there are still steps that you should take to ensure that this continues to be the case.

Your last line of defense against these threats is your backup system.
Wannacry will encrypt local network drives, so in order to be protected you must have a business grade cloud based backup solution in place.

Using cloud storage such as Google Drive or DropBox is great, but these services synchronize your files so if your computer is infected, this will be transmitted to the cloud, and then synchronized to all computers that are connected to your account infecting them in the process.

For help and advise, call IN2Tech on 1300 765 911

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