This past weekend, and today, the ransomware attack WannaCry has been wreaking havoc across the globe. WannaCry (just for the record, I hate that name) has been reported in schools, hospitals, offices, transportation departments, banks, government agencies and more. Apparently, WannaCry does not discriminate.

One of the biggest attacks of WannaCry happened in China. The state media has reported 29,372 institutions had been infected, along with hundreds of thousands of devices. Universities and other educational institutions were among the hardest hit, possibly because schools tend to have old computers and be slow to update operating systems and security. Whatever the case, WannaCry is serious.

If you Suspect WannaCry

If you suspect you have been hit by WannaCry, or want to make sure you are protected, follow these 5 instructions.

  1. If you haven’t already, make sure you perform windows update.
  2. Make sure you are running antivirus and antispyware
  3. DO NOT open any email with attachments from anyone you do not recognize.
  4. DO NOT click on any pop up windows
  5. Make sure you have a good backup of your important data.

WannaCry is no joke. Ransomware has become more and more popular. Whenever the hackers can get money, it becomes a real world crisis. When hackers could wreak havoc, that was one thing. Being able to get money is a whole other thing.

Do you Pay the Ransom?

NO! Paying the ransom just gives the hackers more money to perfect their product, and keeps them motivated. I understand that sometimes you have no choice. Please exhaust every effort before you support this type of cybercrime. It just fuels the fire. I certainly know this is easier said than done. Especially when you cannot work, see patients, bank, transport, etc. The easiest way out is to pay. Keep in mind that even if you do pay, this does not guarantee the criminals will really release your data. It’s a chance you may, or may not want to take.

Always make sure you have a good backup in place!