Multiple recent ransomware attacks have been infecting computers around the world. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest patches and updates. It's also a good idea to maintain up-to-date anti-virus software, and scan all software downloaded from the internet prior to executing.
A particularly important update for the most recent ransomware attacks is Microsoft’s MS17-010 Security Update. Click here to learn how to find out if it's already installed on your computer. If you need the update, click here and then follow the link for your operating system. Microsoft's How-To-Steps for updating your computer can be found by clicking here and then clicking on 'How do I keep my PC up to date?'. For general information from Microsoft on ransomware, click here.
To protect yourself further, be wary of suspicious looking emails. They may be phising attempts that could lead to your computer or device being infected with ransomware, malware, or other malicious software. To learn more about avoiding phishing attacks, click here.
- Be careful when clicking directly on links in emails, even if the sender appears to be known; It's much safer to search the Internet for the main website of the organization or topic mentioned in the email.
- Exercise caution when opening email attachments. Be particularly wary of compressed or ZIP file attachments and avoid enabling macros from email attachments. Click here for more information regarding email attachments.
- Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net).
It's important to keep in mind that paying the ransom does not guarantee the encrypted files will be released; it only guarantees that the malicious actors receive your money, and in some cases, your banking information. In addition, getting the files back does not mean the malware infection itself has been removed.