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The UO is taking steps to protect campus from ransomware

21 May 2017

This weekend's global online extortion attack reinforces the need for businesses and other large organizations to update their computer operating systems and security software, cybersecurity experts said.

Those hit by WannaCry also failed to heed warnings a year ago from Microsoft to disable a file sharing feature in Windows known as SMB, which a covert hacker group calling itself Shadow Brokers had claimed was used by NSA intelligence operatives to sneak into Windows PCs.

Lawrence Abrams, a New York-based blogger who runs BleepingComputer.com, says many organizations don't install security upgrades because they're anxious about triggering bugs, or they can't afford the downtime. With this attack, Abrams recommends trying to recover the "shadow volume" copies some versions of Windows have.

Currently, there is no permanent fix that could end the wrath of this ransomware, but here are a few pointers that could help you in protecting your Windows PC if it has not been attacked yet.

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However, the Financial Times report points out that Windows XP users are still expected to pay extra if they want security and it now stands at $1,000 per device.

Still, since the attack has making headlines, the Internet is full of organizations and people providing guidance about safe use of technology. For older versions, Microsoft has issued patches in the wake of WannaCry.

Last Friday, the company's British-based 22-year-old data breach research chief, Marcus Hutchins, created a "kill-switch", which security experts have widely hailed as the decisive step in halting the ransomware's rapid spread around the globe.

But as the WannaCry ransomware attack shows, this could be the beginning of something worse to come.

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First and foremost, Microsoft users must apply the MS17-010 patch.

The Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, the most comprehensive annual survey of security breakdowns, found that it takes three months before at least half of organisations install major new software security patches.

According to numerous reports, WannaCry exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that was purportedly identified by the U.S. National Security Agency for its own intelligence-gathering purposes.

"The same things are causing the same problems".

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