Update Your Windows OS If You Don’t WannaCry

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Last Friday saw the start of the biggest cyber attack on record. Over the course of one weekend, computer malware targeting Windows OS infected over 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries with the WannaCry ransomware. Victims included hospitals in the UK, a telecom company in Spain, and over 30,000 companies across Asia.

The malware behind WannaCry was reportedly stolen from the NSA in April. It used weaknesses in Microsoft’s Windows OS, and even though Microsoft released a security update to patch the vulnerabilities back in March, as this attack shows, many Windows computers remained vulnerable.

“The current WannaCry ransomware campaign is extremely dangerous, and I urge everyone to immediately install Microsoft’s update MS17-010 and/or block port 445 in their firewalls,” said Tatu Ylonen, CEO and inventor of the SSH protocol. “It is ironic that the ransomware builds on government attack tools made with taxpayer money,” he said.

Here’s what other notable cybersecurity experts had to say on the ransomware attack:

  • Bob Antia, CSO of Unitrends: “The recent ransomware attacks across the world tell us that this powerful epidemic has sprung into high gear. WannaCry caused some victims to take their systems offline completely, flashing back to the paper age. The success of this attack – and many smaller-scale attacks before WannaCry – illustrates the importance of a multi-faceted approach to beating ransomware. As the attackers evolve, so must our systems that manage networks, endpoints, and data.”
  • David Cass, CISO of IBM’s Cloud & SaaS Operational Services: “Cyber attacks have the potential to be more disruptive than ever. Organizations need to reevaluate their ability to deal with today’s continuously evolving cyber threats.”
  • Tatu Ylonen, CEO of SSH: “It is very important for private companies and intelligence agencies to work together to fix vulnerabilities as early as possible. That is how cybersecurity and stability of the global information society is best protected.”
  • Ulf Mattsson, CTO of Atlantic BT: “Security experts are bracing for more fallout from Friday’s worldwide WannaCry ransomware attack.”

In the meantime, don’t forget to update your Windows OS, before it’s too late.

Tatu Ylonen, David Cass, and Ulf Mattsson are speaking in this week’s Securing FinTech Summit on BrightTALK. Discover what other industry leaders have to say on the threats financial institutions are facing and the best approaches to combating them.

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