What is WanaCrypt0r Ransomware

WanaCrypt0r Ransomware is a computer worm that encrypts information on an infected computer and attached drives and demands a ransom to recover the data. In the past 24 hours this worm has been spotted in almost 100 countries with tens of thousands of reported infections. The infections have been reported in hospitals, large corporations, banks, and utilities.

WanaCrypt0r is nasty infection that combines two of the worst types of virus, a worm and ransomware. A computer worm is a type of virus that does not need any human interaction to propagate itself. Once the worm is on an infected machine is will actively seek out other vulnerable machines on the network. This means that your computer could get infected even without you doing anything. Ransomware is a type of virus that searches for and encrypts data on your hard drive and requires an encryption key to decrypt the files. Typically these viruses look for documents, pictures, music, video, databases, accounting data, but they can encrypt any type of file.

How to prevent WanaCrypt0r Ransomware

Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself. First and foremost, make sure that your version of Windows is completely up to date. Microsoft patched this exploit back in March, and if your computer is up to date it can not be infected by the “worm” properties of this virus. If you are not sure how to update your computer, you can check out this article: https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-check-for-install-windows-updates-2624596

Second, make sure you are using an effective anti-virus or anti-malware solution such as Vipre or Malwarebytes. Vipre End Point Protection, Vipre Advanced Security, and Malwarebytes Premium all prevented this virus from the start. If you don’t have good protection already, make sure to contact us and we will get you set up.

Third, be very cautious when opening email attachments or clicking on links in emails. WanaCrypt0r not only infects computers without interaction, it can infect computers by being opened from an email attachment or link. Take a look at this previous post for more information on email security: https://www.ournerd.com/beware-e-mail-attachments/

How to recover if you have been infected

Unfortunately, if you have already been infected by WanaCrypt0r and your files are locked, there is not much that you can do, unless you have a good backup. You could try paying the ransom, but there is no guarantee that you will get your files back. Also keep in mind that the only reason these types of viruses are so popular, and will continue to get worse, is because people do pay the ransom.

If your computer has been infected you need to turn your computer off now and contact us so we can remove the infection so it doesn’t spread to other computers.

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