14-05-2017 Wannacry ransomware: This has been very active in Europe, and can infect window machines via phishing schemes and worming over the network into machines lacking a systems patch. The exploit code is believed to be based on the EternalBlue exploit designed by the NSA and leaked to the public. The ransomware encrypts files on windows machine and mounted disks, and infected machine post a notice offering decryption for a $300 fee. Microsoft has released patches for this vulnerability for the no-longer-updated XP and 2003 operating systems.
What to do? These suggestions are specific to Windows systems, but the same basic practices are recommended for other operating systems.
1 – Make sure your system is patched, just open Window Updates and update your system. Do that now if you haven’t done this recently. Check the update history to see that updates are regularly successful.
2 – Open your anti-virus software and make sure that is also up to date.
3 – Make sure you have off line backups–an easy way to do this is get a couple of external USB drives. Connect one or the other to your machine every week or so and make a backup. If your machine is a Desktop, keep the drives at another location, if it is a laptop, keep one at work and one at home.