News reports over the past two hours have started showing up from all over the world, reporting that another aggressive ransomware virus is making its way from country to country, primarily in the form of an e-mail attachment. (As usual)
This time, it reportedly began as an infected Microsoft Excel data file, which upon execution would unleash the malicious code and begin the process of encrypting local data files, just like the recent outbreak of WannaCry (aka WannaCrypt) several weeks ago. After encrypting the files, a warning pops up on the screen informing the victim that they need to pay a fee of $300 in BitCoins in order to get the code that will decrypt their files and make them usable, again.
It is too early to provide a detailed analysis of this particular strain of computer virus, but it appears that it exploits the same Microsoft Windows vulnerability that WannaCry did, which is a weakness in the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol that was recently patched by Microsoft with a security update back in March of 2017.
We will try to report more later on this particular outbreak, but for now, we just wanted to warn everyone to be extra-cautious when opening e-mail attachments for the next few days, especially if they are Excel spreadsheets that arrive unexpectedly from some else, even if you know them. If you weren’t expecting it, don’t open it. Call them or e-mail them separately to confirm that it is a legitimate file that was sent by them intentionally.
Furthermore, if you don’t already have internet security software such as Zonealarm Anti-Ransomware installed, you might want to consider doing some research into how this could benefit your devices. Having these security features is essential for any business with multiple devices that have access to confidential information. If your devices aren’t secured, make sure to get in contact with a company like Fleetsmith, for example, to keep all business devices secured. With ransomware viruses about, businesses are vulnerable and should be taking extra precautions to keep their data safe.
That’s all for now. Spread the word and stay tuned for more news as this event unfolds. More info all over the news, including this from the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/technology/global-ransomware-hack-what-we-know-and-dont-know.html
And, Hey – Let’s be careful out there!
-The PJ Networks Team