Ransomware Attacks Are World-Wide Today. Don't Use Public Networks

Last Update: May 12, 2017

There has been a huge upsurge in ransomware attacks on personal and business computers in the last few days and hours.

It's affecting computers in at least 74 countries and has caused hospitals and medical facilities to cancel medical procedures.

The initial infection seems to be coming from email attachments. Then, once one computer on a network has been infected, the virus spreads to other computers on the same network.


Don't Use Public Networks

There are lots of public networks that you can use when you're out and about with your laptop or mobile device. Don't use them. Until the crisis is over and you've got your computer patched just use your home network to access the internet.

And don't open email attachments

You'll find more information (if you like techy explanations) at Massive Global Ransomware Attach Underway

There is a patch available so make sure your computer has all the available Windows updates. If you're still using XP or older then please update your operating system. XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and the patch is not available.

Leave your laptop at home or turned off

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ajones64 Premium
Excellent posts. You must update as often as needed to protect yourself and your computer.
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Chekingsley Premium
thanks very much for the update
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thedogman Premium
Thank you
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Emeolu Premium
Thanks for the information.
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loriC1 Premium
Thanks for sharing.
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ericpierre Premium
Thanks Marion for this great and very useful post.
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This is great advice here, Marion.
It's amazing how many people, especially businesses, still use XP! I am part of an IT department for a small ISP here in Northern Montana and I am always still so surprised by the telephone calls I get about issues onsite and it's an XP machine or obsolete equipment.
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abdul11 Premium
thank you for the tip
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Wayne66 Premium
Thanks for the heads-up Marion.
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sheikave Premium
Using a vpn can help
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Afro Gringo Premium
Thanks for the info
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saharelf Premium
Thank you for letting us know
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jtaienao Premium
Thank you Marion for sharing this. I just read an article on this and it is pretty huge. We all should take every precaution least we fall victim to these attacks.
Jerome
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JeffL61 Premium
Thank you for the warning, Marion! It just sickens me that these cretins who regularly seek to harm others have resorted to enacting these devious schemes. One of the negative ideals about the Internet and computers - hackers/trolls of the world who seemingly have nothing else to do in their lives but cause misery for so many innocent people throughout the world. To effect the medical community and disrupt important surgical procedures around the world is out-and out criminal, and if caught, those individuals should face serious legal repercussions!
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AlejandraB Premium
Thanks for the warning
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SUNDAY1 Premium
Thank you for the warning. My Friend's brother's heart surgery was cancelled because of the threat. They live in Kent
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MarionBlack Premium
It's awful that people's lives are affected by this.
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suea Premium
Thanks Marion. Have heard about it on the news reports. Over 70 countries affected. Serious stuff!
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digitalguru3 Premium
Over more I'd add not to use older operating systems. Try to use at least Windows 7 if you are on a PC, recommended is Windows 10 because the older the version the fewer are the updates released. An update is mandatory to patch up such a vulnerability as the Wcrypt ransomware virus! As far as I've heard this was designed for "government institutions" or that's their target based on Kaspersky Lab but still you should be very careful online nowadays.
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digitalguru3 Premium
Also if you find yourself attacked or your computer restarts unexpectedly or shuts down make sure to unplug the network cable, thus protection your other devices connected to the network.
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DShensky Premium
great advice and information. heard about it on the news
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WTucker1 Premium
thanks
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Calmkoala Premium
Hi Marion, many thanks for this really useful information. Much appreciated, Sue :)
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Paullamb777 Premium
I have noticed all that is going on with ransomware. I recently updated to a refurbished MacBook with OS Sierra. It has top of the line Anti-virus software. I also tightened up the security settings on My router. Thanks for the heads up!
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Benmoore Premium
Thanks Marion.
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ArmaniTol Premium
Thanks for posting this, Marion. This is quite an outrage to say the least. I got a question though. When you said to not open email attachments, do you mean not to open any and all attachments when we're on a shared network?
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MarionBlack Premium
Don't open any email attachments even when you're at home. That's how the infection is spread from one network to another. If you use a public network that has been infected then your computer can get infected just by being on the same network as an infected computer.
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ArmaniTol Premium
Ah, I see. I'll make sure to heed your advice. Thanks, Marion!
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PeterOnline Premium
Great information! Thanks!
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stn67 Premium
I now think that it's closed to the back door if you have Windows 10. But it's always a good idea to use only your own wifi or wifi from people you know. Believe me I've tried to have an unknown source that tried to control my computer every time I lit it. It is not fun
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MarionBlack Premium
Windows 10 is safe as long as you keep it up to date with all the security updates Microsoft produces.
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stn67 Premium
I take all updates, clearing my browser history. Restarts frequently. And has a paid firewall on all our computers
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Harrysastar2 Premium
Hi, Marion, good advice. It's also wise to keep a restore disk to restore you pc to its original state in the event of your pc crashing, being hacked, or taken over by ransomware.

A full backup copy of your website, plus any important documents, and anything else you wish to reinstall after a full restore should also be made. These should kept separate from your pc on an external hard drive or similar, that isn't attached to your pc, and kept solely for restore purposes.
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MarionBlack Premium
Good advice Brian. It's best to not even have your backup drive attached to your computer unless you are actually using it at the time.
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gbsun Premium
Thank you for the heads up!
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albert22 Premium
Just seems to be getting worse each time it occurs. What a sad state of affairs.
Thanks for posting.
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susanmacneil Premium
Thank you for the alert!
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Oyz49 Premium
Thank you for the warning Marion. :)
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MKearns Premium
Thank you Marion. This is snowballing to a very serious status!
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DarleneB Premium
Thanks for the warning, Marion. I appreciate that.
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Balloons29 Premium
Our whole National Health Service has been infected. Crafty criminals. Thanks for the heads up, my friend.
Tracy
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mapstar Premium
Also, make sure you have the latest window updates along with any patches. Tech savvy people can deploy various ransomware guards like point solution, proxying, sandboxing etc.. for additional protection.
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markr0675 Premium
Thanks Marion!
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pablocortina Premium
Thank you for the info
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RDoren Premium
Saw this on Aljazeera. I'm in South America. We supposedly are not affected. Let's hope!
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MarionBlack Premium
At the rate it's spreading I think everyone is at risk.
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PatsyC Premium
Thank you!
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WaynePro Premium
Thanks, Marion.

Wayne
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sonnysiah1 Premium
thank you for sharing.
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PeterVX Premium
Thanks for the heads up, Marion!
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GeoffGS Premium
Don't you need to be carefull with your settings? Laptop in car tries to log on to nearby coffee shop for example?
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GeoffGS Premium
It seemed like mine tried to do that but I was probably guilty of not shutting down.
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MarionBlack Premium
I think the safest thing to do would be to leave your laptop at home or turned off until the operating system has been patched.
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PatrickM1 Premium
Marion - Thanks for the update.
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JerryHuang Premium
Just came across this news. Thanks for the sharing and reminder!
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