Worried about the weekend Cyber Attack?


Worried about the weekend Cyber Attack?

I’m sure by now that everybody has seen the news over the weekend about the Malware attack on the NHS and other organisations worldwide.  We are anticipating some concern from customers and thought it would be a good idea to detail what has happened over the weekend and what you can do to ensure this doesn’t happen to any of your computers.

The Malware, is known as “Wannacry 2.0” and the Malware takes advantage of a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows based operating systems that allows the spread of this Malware attack through a “back door” in the operating system.

Microsoft did release a patch to fix this vulnerability in March 2017.  If your computers are up to date with Windows updates, you should not need to worry about this.

The good news is, a company called MalwareTech have been able to purchase the domain that was responsible for spreading this attack to other computers and it does look like the spread of this hack has stopped, but in light of this it doesn’t hurt to go over what you can do to protect your computers from these kind of attacks in the future.

The most common causes for a Malware Type issue have been explained below, 

 

1) Out Of Date Computers

In the news, it has been reported that a number of NHS sites have “under-developed” computer technology, most noted is the continued use of Microsoft Windows XP computers.

Windows XP was released in 2001 and in 2014 Microsoft ceased all support for this operating system.  This means that there have been no security updates, no patches, no updates and no support for Windows XP for about three years now. 

Microsoft Windows XP is the most vulnerable operating system for this kind of attack, with no updates for the last 3 years the operating system is not safe for use and should no longer be used in any environment, be this at work or at home. If you have a Windows XP computer, it really is time to have that computer replaced.

Microsoft have released an update patch for XP computers by Microsoft (released on Saturday 13/05/2017) to remove the vulnerability in your computer but this does not mean that XP is safe to use long term, this is the first (and last) update that the operating system has received in three years.

2) Free AntiVirus

Having a free anti-virus application may be okay for when you are using your computer at home, but any business that works with large volumes of data, has email accounts and has staff that can browse the internet really need to have a paid for anti-virus subscription.  The main reason for this is that if you have a paid subscription to any anti-virus service, once a threat is found over the internet, your computer receives a patch to your software usually in the same day that will keep your computer protected.

Most free anti-virus solutions do not offer “Real Time” protection. Real time protection means that your anti-virus programme is constantly working in the background, scanning your email attachments before you open them or scanning your downloaded files before it will allow you to open them. This all helps to keep your computer safe and secure.

3) Windows Updates

Since the attack Microsoft have said that they did release a security patch in March 2017 that removes any risk of your computer being infected by this attack, it is very important that your computer has all updates and is up to date with Microsoft.

Users of Windows 10 should already be up to date because you are not allowed to disable updates. However, users of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are able to turn off updates.  Please check to ensure you are completely up to date with Windows updates.

4) Non Genuine / Not Licensed Software

If you are running any version of Microsoft Windows this is not genuine software, your computer will not receive any updates from Microsoft until you have a valid Windows product key. If you have non-genuine software there is a real concern that your computers are venerable to this, and other malware threats.

How to Check for Windows Updates

(Windows 7, Windows 8)

- Click Start
- Click Control Panel
- Click Windows Update
- Click Check for Updates

(Windows 8.1)

- Search for Settings (and click on the purple icon with the gear in the middle)
- Click Windows Update
- Click Check for Updates

(Windows 10)

- Click Settings
- Click Windows Update
- Click Check for Updates

If you still have concerns, please contact the office

If you are still concerned about this malware spread, you are more than welcome to call our office and a member of the team can quickly remote onto your computer.  Our technicians will check the following;

  • Version of Windows
  • When were your last Microsoft Windows Update (and install any found updates)
  • Check your anti-virus is up to date
  • Check when your computer last scanned for threats, and scan if needed

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *