60 Second Cybersecurity – I WannaCry

TGPR Cyber Security Queen Susan Tellem tells us if there was any lesson to be learned from the WannaCry ransomware that locked up more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, it would be to dump that old XP software and get yourself into the 21st century.

Experts consoled us by saying that while the ransomware – a worm that freezes up your computer but doesn’t steal info, yet at the same time asks you for money usually in the form of Bitcoin – has slowed. This is probably only briefly as new versions of the successful worm could strike again.

Our timing for what we call our “Hours of Fun – 60 Second Cybersecurity” series could not be better. If you missed it, the first one in the series called, “Don’t Want to Get Hacked – Cyber Security Basics,” is right here on our blog. Next, you’ll learn more about Phishing. 

Back to WannaCry. What’s ironic and irritating is that cybersecurity experts say the unknown hackers used a hole in Microsoft software that was discovered by the National Security Agency (NSA) and exposed when NSA documents were leaked online. Some security, huh? Microsoft felt so bad about the attack on it XP software that it rushed to make security patches for it even though no upgrades have been available for months.

Infected computers appear to be old devices or computers involved in manufacturing or hospital functions that proved too difficult to patch without possibly disrupting crucial operations.

So next steps: If you are working with Windows XP software, upgrade online now. Or go to Amazon and buy a new computer with the newest software and have it delivered overnight. Have an expert back up your files. 

Go! What are you waiting for?

-Susan Tellem, TGPR