Worldwide Ransomware cyber attack: What we need to do?
The WannaCry malware has already affected around 2 lakh users across ten thousand organizations in nearly 100 countries. People who are affected have either lost their money or compromised with their data. However, it’s not the time to be complacent.
The threat has spread by different names across the globe. Whether you call it WannaCrypt, WCrypt, WCRY, or Ransomware WannaCry, it is designed in such a way that you need to pay a certain amount in bit coins to get access to a system. The worst affected are the Windows based machines, especially ATMs, as it works on the basis of Server Message Block concept, which is specific to Windows.
Once the malware gets into the system, it scans all the hosts on a local area network and Internet by generating random IP addresses. If the random IP address gets connected to the traditional Microsoft networking port, i.e. port 445, exploit attempts are made.
Among all the countries in the world, India and Russia were hit badly, as these countries have the maximum number of unsupported Windows XP, used by many government departments, bank ATMs. As a preventive step to avoid any consequences due to the Ransomware attack, hundreds of ATMs across India were shut down.
According to sources, the Government of various countries affected by this have instructed all the banks to update the software at their respective ATMs, so that any potential or suspicious threat could be prevented. Since, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are highly exposed to malware attacks due to older versions of the OS; it makes software update extremely important exercise from time to time.
Moreover, various security expert companies have given certain guidelines in terms of dos and don’ts to prevent Ransomware attack. The new Ransomware Wanna cry is spreading fast by encrypting the infected Windows system. There are various cyber criminals who are making the most of the situation by demanding as high as USD 300 for unlocking the affected devices. Meanwhile, Microsoft has also introduced some security patch, which, when downloaded can tackle the situation. In order to overcome any adverse situation, it is advised to follow the below mentioned measures to protect data from Ransomware.
- Take data backup
- Use a reliable security precaution
- Go through some Ransomware awareness training
- Disconnect from Internet
- Check file extensions
- Warn authorities and exercise caution
However, everyone needs to be alert as the problem will get compounded when billions of devices gets connected with the concept of Internet of Things in the coming years.