The world is currently in the middle of one of the largest malware outbreaks we have ever seen. It has been all over the news. This malware will take your important files hostage and make you pay a $300-600 ransom per computer to get them back (IF they decide to send the encryption key after payment). It is important that you act NOW to keep from being a victim to this awful WINDOWS malware. Here are some things you can do:
- Do NOT open any unknown email links or documents – Do not open these unless you are 100% sure of where they come from. Let your co-workers and/or employees know as well. This malware gets behind firewalls through email links then spreads like wildfire to all of the computers on the network that it’s in. Do not open those links or documents. Call us if you are unsure of anything.
- Make sure your Windows is updated – This malware exploits a known defect in Windows. This defect has ALREADY been patched if your computer has been updated. If your computer is not updated, it is vulnerable to this exploit. Call us if you need help determining your status. NOTE: All Windows computers that are on tekRESCUE’s Unlimited plans or Monitoring plans are currently up to date, and are relatively safe. This does not apply to Windows XP or 2003 computers (see #3).
- STOP using Windows XP and 2003 as soon as possible – We have been saying this for three years now. Bottom line, all Windows XP and Windows 2003 machines (as well as earlier versions of Windows) are currently vulnerable to this exploit and might not be patched by Microsoft any time soon. This could wreak havoc on your network if an XP or 2003 machine gets exploited.
- Use an anti-virus (AV) that inoculates against ransomware – We recommend BitDefender Endpoint (not free) which does this. It’s not a guarantee, but it offers more security and peace of mind. We are not big fans of FREE AV softwares for this very reason. Use Bitdefender and keep it updated. Note: This malware doesn’t affect MACs but they still get malware and we recommend Bitdefender for them too. If you aren’t sure if your current antivirus is adequate, let us know and we can help.
- Backup, Backup, Backup – We can’t stress this enough. If you get this malware, you will have to pay $300 for each computer on your network to get your files back (if they decide to decrypt your files after payment), and the price doubles to $600 before the files are destroyed. If your files are backed up, you can just reset windows and put your files back. This ends up being much cheaper and easier in the long run. We recommend using iBackup to backup your files offline. If you would like to discuss getting iBackUp set up for your business, or if you have any questions about backups, contact us and we will be happy to help.
- Let somebody else take care of all of this – These kinds of things are what we do everyday at tekRESCUE. We have plans that take care of all of these tasks for you. Many who are reading this are already on one of these plans. Call us if you have questions or want the peace of mind knowing you are covered.
Here’s a screenshot of the malware in action:
If you would like to read more, Here are a couple of articles about this malware: