New WannaCry Ransomware Emerging and How To Protect Yourself. Post #1131.

New WannaCry Ransomware Emerging and How To Protect Yourself
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Author:  Mark Maunder of Wordfence Security.
Accessed on 15 May 2017, 03:55 hrs, UTC.


This blog usually discusses antennas, various "tuners", homebrewed equipment, and ways to improve the antennas at your disposal.  However, in this post I will leave antennas for a moment to review a serious threat to all of us using the Windows OS, especially older, unsupported versions such as Windows XP.

According to Mark Maunder of Wordfence Security, a second wave of the "WannaCry" ransomware appears to have started just a few hours ago.  Maunder says "this is going to be a rough week for Windows users."  Although code experts have found two "kill switches" in the first round of WannaCry attacks, more serious attacks are expected to begin on Monday, 15 May 2017, when employees return to their offices and find their older Windows OS compromised and rendered unusable unless a ransom is paid.  Maunder believes the ongoing attack by this malicious malware is the largest internet attack in recent years, with effects ranging from hospital and transportation systems shutdowns to interference with vital communications used by local, regional, state, and federal governments.  More than 100,000 PCs have been damaged in at least 100 countries worldwide.  The WannaCry ransomware is insidious, using a SMB exploit rather than phishing software to encrypt data and make them unreachable with older Windows platforms.

Maunder recommends several steps to protect your websites and blogs:

"WannaCry Ransomware: How to protect yourself

  1. If you use Windows, install the patch that Microsoft has released to block the specific exploit that the WannaCry ransomware is using. You can find instructions on this page in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. You can also directly download the patches for your OS from the Microsoft Update Catalog.
  2. If you are using an unsupported version of Windows like Windows XP, Windows 2008 or Server 2003, you can get the patches for your unsupported OS from the Update Catalog. We do recommend that you update to a supported version of Windows as soon as possible.
  3. Update your Antivirus software definitions. Most AV vendors have now added detection capability to block WannaCry.
  4. If you don’t have anti-virus software enabled on your Windows machine, we recommend you enable Windows Defender which is free.
  5. Backup regularly and make sure you have offline backups. That way, if you are infected with ransomware, it can’t encrypt your backups.
  6. For further reading, Microsoft has released customer guidance for the WannaCry attacks and Troy Hunt has done an excellent detailed writeup on the WannaCry ransomware.

Get the word out

The second wave of attacks appears to have just started within the past few hours. This is going to be a rough week for Windows users. We recommend you get the word out by sharing this post to help keep friends and family secure."


If there is any good news in this scenario, it lies with those using the Windows 10 OS, which received a major security upgrade in March 2017.  Older versions of Windows, such as the now unsupported XP, are especially vulnerable to exploit by this ransomware variant.  If you haven't converted your PC to Windows 10, please do so before your files disappear.

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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM)


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