Layman’s Guide to WannaCry Ransomware December 24, 2018May 16, 2017 by admin No doubt this century is dominated by computers and internet technologies. The life has been eased to a greatest level with the use of IT. Thanks to the cutting edge technology, the most of the work can be done online with the use of IT tools. But the evil minds are everywhere and one such mind can cause a significant harm to the society by exploiting the flaws of the technology. WannaCry virus (also called WannaCrypt or wCry) is one such threat. Let us discuss about this virus in the language of a common man and try to understand how can this affect your life. What is WannaCry Virus WannaCry virus is a ransomware which means the hackers encrypt your computer files using an exploit in MS Windows and seek money in order to de-crypt the files for you. Often a deadline is set for payment and the files may be deleted if unpaid. Last week thousands of computers have been compromised in UK hospitals due to this threat. Story starts earlier this year when NSA hacking tools were leaked and an exploit of old Windows system was detected. Microsoft patched the security immediately and updated the Windows. The updated Windows are totally free from virus but the computers having old levels of Windows which are not updated are highly affected. Worse thing is that it spreads like a forest fire through LAN connections. The virus can spread though emails and other connections as well. Below is a process flow of the virus: Hackers exploit the servers and intrude the computersHacker encrypts the important files stored on system memoryA ransom money is asked in lieu to de-crypt the files (mostly in the form of bitcoins or other soft money modes)Ransom amount may be increased if not paid within asked time frameIn failure to payments, the files are deleted from the system How can you protect yourself from WannaCry? Update your computer immediately to the latest level. Accept all updates from MicrosoftSet Windows updates to automaticUpdate your antivirus to the latest version and latest definitionsDo not open any suspicious emails and attachmentsDisable macros in MS office programsBlock the attachments of file types, exe|pif|tmp|url|vb|vbe|scr|reg|cer|pst|cmd|com|bat|dll|dat|hlp|hta|js|wsfKeep the operating system third party applications (MS office, browsers, browser Plugins) up-to-date with the latest patches.Follow safe practices when browsing the web. Ensure the web browsers are secured enough with appropriate content controls.Restrict users’ abilities (permissions) to install and run unwanted software applications.Individuals or organizations are not encouraged to pay the ransom, as this does not guarantee files will be released. Report such instances of fraud to CERT-In and Law Enforcement agenciesTake an offline backup of your important files We hope with these precautions you can stay safe from WannaCry virus threats. Here is an official communication from Microsoft on the threat. Leave a Comment Cancel replyCommentName Email Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.