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. Reported disruptions impacted hospitals in the United Kingdom and even Federal Express deliveries. Ransoms of $300 per workstation were being demanded of these impacted businesses.
If you are still running Windows XP or Server 2003, and especially if you are using it for work, surfing the web, or reading email, it is EXTREMELY important that you download the manual patches that Microsoft has publicly release and take immediate steps to patch and protect from this vulnerability.