The Wanacrypt0r 2.0 Ransomware May Have Stopped Spreading, But Are You Protected Against Future Attacks?
by Josh Lake
The vicious ransomware, Wanacrypt0r 2.0, may have been halted by the quick actions of a security researcher, but it won’t be long before a similar beast comes back with a vengeance. On Friday, the virus tore across the world, affecting more than 75,000 machines in over 74 countries.
It affected a range of businesses and organizations, including Fedex, Vodafone Espana, Santander, Portugal Telecom, Telefonica, and the UK’s healthcare system, the NHS. Once Wanacrypt0r 2.0 penetrated a system, it locked down files and demanded a ransom payment to have them decrypted.
The massive attack has seriously affected operations at a range of companies and has also forced some UK hospitals to divert emergency patients to locations that were unaffected. Although the spread of the attack has been stopped, it does not alleviate the problems for organizations that have already been infected.
Microsoft had already released patches for supported versions of their software that closed up the vulnerabilities. Despite this, the scale of the attack shows that many organizations either had not run the patch, or were using unsupported versions of Windows.
Due to the immense scale of the attack, Microsoft made the rare move to release patches that address the vulnerability in unsupported versions such as Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003. Organizations need to run these patches if they want to be protected from future forms of the virus, which could turn out to be even more damaging.
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