Given the way the media is talking about this, you’d think the apocalypse had begun in earnest.
In reality, you’re probably already protected – as long as you don’t do anything stupid like open a strange file attachment from someone you don’t know!
So what is WannaCry? Let us consult Wikipedia instead of reinventing the wheel:
WannaCry, also known as WanaCrypt0r 2.0, is a ransomware software package. In May 2017, a large-scale cyber attack started affecting Telefónica and several other large companies in Spain, as well as parts of the British National Health Service (NHS), FedEx and Deutsche Bahn. Many other countries were attacked by WanaCrypt0r 2.0. […]
WannaCry is believed to use the ETERNALBLUE exploit, which was allegedly developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, to attack computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems. ETERNALBLUE exploits vulnerability MS17-010 in some versions of Microsoft’s implementation of the SMB server protocol. A patch to remove that vulnerability had been issued on March 14, 2017, but the delay in applying updates has left some users and organisations vulnerable.
Dear God, how do I protect myself?
Well, as noted above, you’re already protected if you regularly apply Windows updates!
Microsoft released a patch to plug the security hole 2 months ago.
So, if you have automatic updates enabled, and your system is kept up to date, the hole has been plugged.
Naturally, you should also avoid opening strange file attachments and such, but you should do that normally, anyway.
Dear GOD, I turned off Automatic Updates! What do I need to do?!
First, turn auto updates back on, and keep it on.
Before you do that, you can download the security role-up that includes the WannaCry vulnerability patch at the links below:
- Windows XP SP3 (MS just released this patch today for non-supported Win XP!)
- Windows 7
- Windows 7 64-bit
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 8.1 64-bit
- Windows 10 1607
- Windows 10 64-bit 1607
Note that Windows 10 1607 is the previous “version” of Windows 10. If you’ve recently updated to the “Creators Update”, your Win 10 is already patched.
For other versions of Windows, or if one of the above links doesn’t work, find your Windows version and download the updates here:
I also recommend buying Malwarebytes. Yeah, it costs money, but it’s excellent protection against malware.
It also includes ransomware protection built-in! Can’t beat that.
Right, so… Many institutions are getting hammered by this ransomware because their systems aren’t patched.
But if you’re a normal home user, it’s very likely your puter was patched 2 months ago.
So, relax! Drink some lemonade, put your feet up, etc. 🙂