Ransomware was once again in the news. This time it was due to WannaCry, an attack that stretched across 150 countries and nearly 57,000 countries. The attackers used a Windows vulnerability only recently patched (March 2017), formerly used by the National Security Agency to secretly take control of computers. Determine If You Are Protected First off, check and make sure you are protected. If you are running Windows 10, click on Start, then Settings, click on Windows Update, click on Update History. If you have installed either the May 2017, April 2017 or March 2017 cumulative update for any of the Windows 10 that is in the market today, you are protected. If you are running Windows 7, click on Start, then Control Panel, then on Windows Update. Now click on View Update History. Scroll down and look for either March 2017, April 2017 or May 2017 updates to have been installed on your machine. If any of these monthly rollups have been installed, you are protected from this vulnerability. What If You’re Running Windows XP and Server 2003? For businesses still running XP in critical locations that did not have a custom support agreement from Microsoft, this attack brought them to their knees. … Read More
The WannaCry ransomware attack made massive headlines, and with good reason. But who’s to blame? As I see it, four separate entities caused the disasters: the criminal hackers, Microsoft, the NSA, and the victims. If any one of them had acted as they should have, the disaster would never have happened. Appearing on Friday, May 12, WannaCry – also known as WannaCrypt, WanaCryt0r, and Wanna Decryptor – infected nearly a quarter million computers in a very short time. And it didn’t just hit hapless users in one or two countries. Victims included Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), FedEx, and Deutsche Bahn. According to Wikipedia, the worst-hit countries were Russia, Ukraine, India and Taiwan. Let’s take a look at all four of the culprits, and one important hero. Culprit #1: The Hackers These are the culprits who belong in prison. They’re criminals, using their computer skills to extort money from people and organizations. Like all forms of ransomware, WannaCry is basically an extortion racket. When the malware infects a computer, it encrypts all data that it finds. Then it pops up a message demanding a ransom payment in untraceable bitcoin. If you don’t pay up in time, you lose family photos, business records, … Read More
At a much-anticipated event held in San Francisco, Microsoft vice president Terry Myerson unveiled the official Technical Preview of the next Windows. The presentation packed several surprises, not least of which is the new operating system’s name: Windows 10.