As widely reported this week, there’s a worldwide spread of ransomware on an unprecedented scale known as WannaCry. It exploits a vulnerability that was patched on all supported operation systems, including Windows 7, two months ago in Microsoft’s security bulletin.
Unlike other ransomwares, users don’t need to click anything with WannaCry. It has the capability to scan heavily over TCP port 445 (Server Message Block/SMB), compromise hosts, encrypt stored files and then demand a ransom payment in the form of Bitcoin (a form of digital currency).
The only way to effectively protect Windows-based computers from this ransomware is to install the Microsoft-provided patches.
For customers running supported operating systems, such as Windows 7 and Windows 10:
- Run Windows Update on your computers to receive the latest security updates.
- If you have an IT department, please contact them for assurance that your computers are protected.
For customers running unsupported versions of Windows, including Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008:
- Microsoft released patches for these operating systems this past weekend that can be obtained from Microsoft here