Last week Windows users suffered a ransomware attack at a global scale and had their files encrypted. The attackers demanded a payment of $600 worth in bitcoins decrypt all the users' files. This is one of the biggest ransomware attacks recorded and still growing. Read the complete article published yesterday on LinuxAndUbuntu. In this article, we will talk about some of the possible actions one can take against this ransomware.
Ways to protect from ransomware
Before we talk about protection using any tool we first need to learn to get extra careful in everything you click on the web and on your emails, then for your protections there are several options.
Keep your system up-to-date
Some users prefer to keep Windows updates turned off since Windows on an older version used to auto-install in the middle of work, this has been fixed on a recent creator update release lately.
If you are using Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 and your system was updated after March 14 you don’t need to worry, since the ransomware attacks system prior to this update. But for those users before Windows 10, you should make sure your system is updated since Microsoft released a patch that includes outdated systems that have reached the end of life including XP.
Alternatively, you can download the patch manually for the old systems and install it on this link you can see the information about this patch. Even if you installed the vulnerabilities protections you need to change your behavior regarding emails and files you receive.
Make sure you have an antivirus and it's also updated
If for the latest version on windows, the system comes already preloaded with windows defender and you just have to keep it updated.
You can install Avast for protection on old systems or for a better protection on any new system. A free version is already a good option. On their blog it is stated that they can protect you against WannaCry:
We have observed a massive peak in WanaCrypt0r 2.0 (aka WCry) ransomware attacks today, with more than 57,000 detections, so far.[...] Avast detects all known versions of WanaCrypt0r 2.0, but we strongly recommend all Windows users fully update their system with the latest available patches. We will continue to monitor this outbreak and update this blog post when we have further updates.
After installing avast you should run a full system scan to be sure that your OS is free of not just ransomware but also any normal virus.
Install a ransomware blocker
It is not a bad thing to be extra careful, even if the antivirus companies said that they are prepared to block the ransomware. For a plus in your protection, you can install a ransomware blocker. There are two free options available Cybereason Ransomfree and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware
Backup from cloud storage
If you are already infected and your important files are encrypted, there is a way to get back. Dropbox uses snapshots which allow you to restore files uploaded to an early version. The snapshots version can be backed up to version going back to past 30 days. One thing that should be taken in the count is to keep your important files backed up in more than one storage when possible and keep your files secure in the cloud.
Migrate to Linux Distros
Linux comes with many advantages when comparing to Windows losing only in popularity. On Linux, you don't need an antivirus for your protection. To run your root folder you need to have root access and this access can only be given by you.
Another good reason is that Windows viruses and ransomware doesn’t work on Linux. A few years ago it was hard to migrate from Windows to Linux because there were a few applications with good qualities or some users skipped Linux because of gaming options. Lately, Linux has the same application options like Windows and some are better. And last but not least important Linux receives constant updates daily and have a large community support.
WannaCry has affected a lot of systems and keep affecting more because the attackers keep making it better and we as an end user must find ways to protect us from this attacks. To lose important files without options to recover is very bad. That could cause your hard work that you have been doing for years and got encrypted. You have to start all over again.
This should be a good reason to start using Linux. Leave your opinions, experiences, and suggestions with us in the comment section below.