A dangerous computer virus is attacking computer systems all over the world. Cyber security teams worldwide have issued critical red alerts to warn computer users about ‘WannaCry‘, a trojan virus that blocks most or all the data on your computer.
Within a few hours of the attack, at least 40 hospitals were affected in the UK alone, surgeries were interrupted, x-rays cancelled, ambulances were unreachable. In France, car manufacturer Renault had to shut down several manufacturing units and in the US, Fedex had to halt services. In India, less attacks have been reported due to offices being closed over the weekend, however, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued an advisory asking all banks to update the software at ATMs to protect their systems, as ATMs are at high risk of attack.
Worried about becoming a victim? Don’t be. Here’s all you need to know about it –
What is WannaCry?
WannaCry is a type of trojan virus called Ransomware. It has affected over 100,000 computers in 150 countries worldwide. WannaCry has stopped the the functioning of car factories, offices, government agencies, courier services, hospitals, ambulance services, shops and schools over the weekend.
What does WannaCry exactly do?
The virus takes over most or all users’ files, demanding $300 (approximately ₹ 19,000) in internet currency called Bitcoin to restore them. If the amount is not paid within 3 days, the amount doubles to $600. After 7 days without payment, WannaCry claims to delete all the attacked files, leading to irreversible data loss. Windows users have been reported to be affected the most by this attack.
How can I protect myself?
The country’s cyber security agency, Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) has issued the following guidelines in relation to the recent WannaCry cyber attack –
Install Security Updates :
Make sure that your internet security software is up-to-date. Without any delay, install the security updates being recommended by your operating system.
Beware of Unexpected Email :
Do not click on any unexpected links and do not download any unexpected attachments received in your email.
Update Windows :
Do not run old Windows operating systems. According to reports, Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows 8 are the worst affected. If possible, upgrade your operating system immediately.
Do Not Pay The Ransom:
If your computer gets attacked, do not pay the ransom since there is no guarantee that your data will be restored once the payment has been made. Report any such incident to CERT-In for support and guidance.
The virus continues to wreak havoc in computer systems all over the world. Cyber security experts are working hard to resolve this problem but no solution has been confirmed yet. Until a fix is found, it is strongly advised to follow the recommended guidelines to protect your system from data loss.
Stay alert, stay safe!