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WannaCrypt Attack - Microsoft releases critical Windows update

16 May 2017 12:12 by Alexander John
Length: 1 minute, 40 seconds (333 words)

In response the the major cyber attack that has targeted the NHS and other business across the UK last week, Microsoft has released a critical update for all operating systems including those no longer supported such as Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003. Microsoft has urged all Windows users to apply the MS17-010 hotfix update as soon as possible.

This update has been released through Windows Defender. More information about the hotfix may found on the Microsoft Technet website.

For most personal and small business customers, install this hotfix and any other outstanding updates via Windows Update. In Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, the update should be automatically installed. If not, access Update via Start > Settings > Update

What is WannaCrypt and how does it work?

The ransomware known as WannaCrypt has taken advantage of a security vulnerability within Windows that present in at least 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries worldwide. Once a computer is infected, all of its' files are encrypted by the ransomware which then demands payment from the user to access their files. If payment is not received by a certain date, then it is potentially lost forever.

Once installed, WannaCrypt acts like a worm and replicates throughout the local network infecting any other vulnerable computers.

This vulnerability came to light in March and Microsoft issued a patch for all supported Windows systems. WannaCrypt has taken advantage of computers that are either running older, unsupported versions of Windows (Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003) or those that have not had the patch installed.

Email Scanning

Although we scan all email messages that pass through our servers, we cannot guarantee all infected files are intercepted and deleted. We urge all our customers to ensure they are protected against ransomware, viruses and other malware attacks by ensuring they have an up-to-date security software installed on all computers.

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