Security advice in the wake of WannaCry and Not(Petya)

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Jun 30, 2017

The recent outbreaks of WannaCry and (Not)Petya have left many users and organizations understandably confused about what to do and how to fend off such attacks. Thankfully, security experts are always happy to give advice. I decided to collect together and compile a list of the most important, and most frequently given, advice.

  • Always install software patches, especially those fixing security issues – but be aware that some 'security fixes' are fake and actually install malware, and that sometimes, as in the (Not)Petya case, update mechanisms may be compromised to serve malicious updates.
  • Only open attachments in emails from people you know – but note that cybercriminals may forge email addresses from people in your address book, or may compromise their email accounts to send malicious emails, so even if an email appears to have come from someone you know, it may not have done.
  • Never enable macros when you are asked to do so – although, to get Adobe Reader to print a PDF document you just downloaded, you will need to ignore the warning and click "Enable All Features".

adobeenableallfeatures.png

 

  • Make sure you keep regular backups to which you have easy access in case of a ransomware infection – but note that the easier it is for you to access your backups, the easier it will be for ransomware to encrypt your backups too.

  • Never pay the ransom – although be aware that, in some cases, paying the ransom may be your only chance of getting your data back.

  • Always upgrade to the latest version of the operating system you are running – although note that software that may be essential to the running of your business or organization may not be compatible with recent operating systems.

  • Follow the advice of security experts – but note that security experts are known to disagree with each other.

Security. It's complicated.

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

First 11 partners of VB2019 announced

We are excited to announce the first 11 companies to partner with VB2019, whose support will help ensure a great event.

VB2018 paper: Fake News, Inc.

A former reporter by profession, Andrew Brandt's curiosity was piqued when he came across what appeared at first glance to be the website of a small-town newspaper based in Illinois, but under scrutiny, things didn’t add up. At VB2018 he presented a…

Paper: Alternative communication channel over NTP

In a new paper published today, independent researcher Nikolaos Tsapakis writes about the possibilities of malware using NTP as a covert communication channel and how to stop this.

VB2019 conference programme announced

VB is excited to reveal the details of an interesting and diverse programme for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, which takes place 2-4 October in London, UK.

VB2018 paper: Under the hood - the automotive challenge

Car hacking has become a hot subject in recent years, and at VB2018 in Montreal, Argus Cyber Security's Inbar Raz presented a paper that provides an introduction to the subject, looking at the complex problem, examples of car hacks, and the…

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.