Hostage, ransom and attack. Those are all words that conjure up a film thriller involving well, people.
But think again. The latest attack is a cyber attack and it’s not people being held hostage, it’s their important business and personal computer files.
The virus is called “Wannacry” and it is designed to target and then rapidly infect large companies with computer networks, usually through email that quickly spreads a virus. However, personal computers could also be at risk.
Monday, Wesley Christain who is the IT Manager for WSAV was installed what he termed a “patch” which he says is designed to fix a flaw in Windows. The flaw is literally a “vulnerability or hole” that allows the cyber crooks to infiltrate the network system and or personal computer.
“That hole is how they’re getting into everybody’s computers so this patches that hole out so now they can’t get in,” says Christain.
If the virus does get through it can quickly affect files and the user will see a ransom note demanding payment in Bitcoins. “So you have the option of either wiping your computer and starting all over or losing all your data or paying the ransomeware which obviously is not encouraged,” says Christian
He says instead of trying to fight the virus, the best thing is to protec the computer from being infected. “For anybody’s servers or somebody’s computer at home -the mian thing they need to do is run Windows update which will install this patchthat I’m installing their home computer as well as everyhing else they need to update. Check their anti-virus to make sure it has the latest definitions which is a live update or whatever they have,” Christian told us.
He says updated anti-virus software is important because in home computers, you might not even need to click on a link for the infection to begin. “Typically, it is going to be through a link or through a website that somebody goes to., but it doesn’t have to be with this one and that’s the biggest concern.”
So he says the simplest thing you can do is take steps now to protect your computer. “And if you have really important information on your computer, make sure it’s saved in a separate location, you should always have your data saved in more than one location,” he says.