"This is something we haven’t seen before; the global reach is unprecedented," said Europol director Rob Wainwright.
For those of you that follow the news, you have heard of the massive cyber attack of ransomware worldwide over the weekend. So far this ransomware has a global scope hitting at least 150 countries with hundreds of organizations hit and over 200,000 victims. Security experts fear the outbreak will increase today after employees return to their jobs and access their computers on Monday. Some companies have gone so far as to instructed employees not to login until all their systems have been patched.
Security professionals have warned the public that ransomware was on the rise and to take precautions however the widespread scope of this attack exceeded expectations. Earlier this year I posted a recording of a webinar on ransomware including what can be done to reduce the risk for you and your organization from becoming a victim of ransomware. http://www.learnsecurity.org/single-post/2017/03/25/What-you-need-to-know-about-ransomware
This current ransomware has been named WannaCrypt exploits a vulnerability in the Windows operating system. Microsoft issued a press release that said the software tool used in the attack came from code stolen from the National Security Agency and warned governments from stockpiling such vulnerabilities.
The easiest thing to do is to use the check for updates on your computer. Windows 10 forces users to update and patch their systems. However older versions of Windows do not require updates and if they are not turned on your system may be vulnerable. Make sure you have updated with the latest patches. The particular patch you need is located here https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms17-010.aspx
"Cyberattack Is Likely to Keep Spreading" Wall Street Journal (05/15/17) Kostov, Nick; Gross, Jenny; Woo, Stu
WannaCry Ransomware Outbreak Spreads Worldwide, Spain's Telefonica, England's NHS Are Among the Victims by Mathew J. Schwartz, May 12, 2017 http://ransomware.databreachtoday.com/wannacry-ransomware-outbreak-spreads-worldwide-a-9912
The need for urgent collective action to keep people safe online: Lessons from last week’s cyberattack, by Brad Smith https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2017/05/14/need-urgent-collective-action-keep-people-safe-online-lessons-last-weeks-cyberattack/