What is WannaCry And How To Stay Safe From It


The most advanced and a devastating virus named WannaCry (Wanna Crypt0r 2.0) which is basically a Ransomware, has spread. This is the worst virus ever found and it spreads like fire.This ransomware infects computers by using a flaw in the SMB protocol in Microsoft Windows Operating systems. What this virus does is that it encrypts the data in targeted systems and demands a ransom to be paid by the victim to restore his precious data.




The price fixed by the virus is $300 , which will jump to $600 if not paid within 7 days.The hackers ask to pay the money through bitcoins. This virus has hit many important and public organisations and is etimated to have infected more than 70,000 systems worldwide. According to kaspersky lab the worst infected countries were Russia,Ukraine,India and Taiwan.



This ransomware uses the EternalBlue exploit found by the National Security Agency (NSA) of  USA. The ransomware affects system which are not regularly updated with latest patches  from Microsoft. Microsoft also released an update to fix the vulnerability in SMB protocol back in march 2017, so users who have installed this patch along with all updates are completely immune.

HOW THIS RANSOMWARE SPREADS ?

This ransomware spreads mainly though phishing emails and other unwanted softwares downloaded on your computers. The internet is full of fun places and also some dangers. If you are not sure what your downloading in the internet, check the link of the file in virustotal or some other cloud virus checking sites.

IS WINDOWS XP PROTECTED ?

Lets admit it, Microsoft removed the support for windows XP back in April 2014. But there are still organizations all over the world using Windows XP OS. The reason is simple, they dont want to spent too much money on a new OS or they cant afford any bugs or errors. Still windows XP users can be protected because Microsoft released a security patch (KB4012598) for Windows XP in order to save the world from this massive ransomware attack and to prevent spreading this virus through outdated OS’s.

DOES IT AFFECT OTHER OS PLATFORMS ?

As i have said earlier, this ransomware works on a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows found by the NSA. All other platforms like Linux , Mac , Chrome OS etc are completely safe from this virus. 


HOW TO STAY SAFE FROM THIS VIRUS ?


Here are the step by step things you need to do to stay safe from not only ransomware but also from all other viruses.

STEP 1 : Install a leading Antivirus program for your PC. 




If you dont have money to buy  advanced protection, then go for free ones. There are plenty of antivirus companies in the internet giving free antivirus softwares. If your unsure which one to download , then go  for Kaspersky free antivirus which is one of the best. After downloading,make sure you update your antivirus. Antivirus are worthless unless  they are updated.


Antiviruses use virus definitions to identify whether the file is a virus or not. So make sure you update their virus definition, to ensure your up-to-date with latest ones.


STEP 2 : Install latest updates for your Windows Operating System






Make sure you install the latest updates provided by Microsoft on your PC. This is applicable for Windows 7 and later version of operating system’s. As for Windows XP and Windows Vista you can download Anti-WannyCry ransomware update from Microsoft. Note that Windows 7 and later version get this update automatically through Windows Updates.


Download Anti-Ransomware from here (Official link).


STEP 3  : Install an Anti-spyware software for your PC




Most of time, people ask me whether installing anti-spyware along with antivirus is good for the PC ?.The answer is Yes, as long as you dont run them together its fine. Disable your antivirus for sometime and then scan using your anti-spyware software so that both dont clash together 🙂

Also if your ever infected with a malware, first scan with your antivirus,remove threats and then scan again using your anti-spyware.

You can download Malwarebytes Anti-malware (the best one) from here.


STEP 4 : Stop using Windows XP 




Microsoft itself stopped supporting windows XP, even though there are thousands of people who use it. From this move Microsoft wants  all windows XP users to upgrade to a newer technology and secure operating system because Windows Xp is not capable to meet with the newest security features.




You can either upgrade your PC to Windows 7,8,8.1,10 or try installing Linux if your PC wont support windows 7 or newer versions. Trust me, linux is the most advanced and the most secure version of OS you can get for free. At some points it is better than Windows Operating system. Linux is has a huge open source community , so your problems wont be left behind and will be patched up faster.Some of them are very light like Tinycore (20mb) while some are more popular like Ubunu-linux.


STEP 5 : Install a firewall to monitor your network traffic.




There are so many firewalls on the internet. The best one is Comodo Firewall and Glassfire firewall which is free. A firewall monitors your internet traffic and alerts you if there is any incoming connection which is harmful. In order to save yourself from this dreadful Ransomware, you must install a firewall on your PC along with the above steps.



FINAL WORDS :


Installing all these utilities is not enough, make sure you use the Internet safe and know what you are downloading onto your PC. Always make a backup of your precious files on to a CLOUD SERVER like google drive, drop box etc. If your PC is somehow infected, don’t panic and don’t pay the sum of money the ransom ware asks for($300). Take your PC to a tech and try to recover your data.



If you loved my post, why not pause a moment saying thanks :). 

If you have any suggestions or if I got anything wrong please let me know through the comment section

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