Thursday, June 29, 2017

Nasty Ransomware Called Petya Has Been Spreading Fast, Here's How to Protect Yourself

It's been barely 1 month the world witnessed a global attack of a nasty malware attack known as WanaCry. And now, another set of cyber hoodlums has launched another cyber global attack with a malware called Petya. Similar to the events associated to WanaCry, Large businesses, electricity suppliers, and government agencies around the world are already affected by a strain of malware widely known as Petya. Even a chocolate factory has been hit.
how to stay protected from petya

Petya essentially locks down the victim(s) computer, then a ransom note appears on the desktop screen demands $300 which is to be paid via Bitcoin. Failure to do so will result in the files of the infected computers being deleted. This attack closely mimics the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries in May.

Security researchers believe that the ransomware is a distraction, which is intended to steer the eyes of people away from the actual task of the malware. They believe that the malware is designed to steal details and confidential information from the affected computers as well as do a lot of damage, particularly to the Ukrainian government.

How Do I Stay Protected From Petya?

It has already been revealed that the ransomware was just a cover for malware designed to do a lot of damage, particularly to the Ukrainian government. Besides rendering a computer and its data useless, there is also a Trojan inside of Petya that steals victims' usernames and passwords.

There are two ways Petya/GoldenEye attacks a computer. "The exploit attacks vulnerable Windows Server Message Block (SMB) service, which is used to share files and printers across local networks. Microsoft addressed the issue in its MS17-010 bulletin in March, but the exploit proved instrumental in the spread of WannaCry last month. The new Petya variant can also spread by using a version of the Microsoft PsExec tool in combination with admin credentials from the target computer.

These problems have been patched, but some users have not downloaded the fix, so it keeps spreading. Your first line of defense is to be sure you have the latest version of Windows installed on your PC, with automatic updates turned on. But if not, you can follow these links below to download and install the security patches on your PC, in correspondence to your machine architecture.

4.    Windows 7 x64

5.    Windows 7 x86

6.    Windows 8

7.    Windows 8.1

8.    Windows 10

10.   Windows 2003 x64 

11.    Windows 2008

12.    Windows 2008R2

13.    Windows 2012

14.    Windows 2012R2

15.    Windows 2016

Finally, these security patches are there to boost your machine's immune system and decrease your chances of being infected with this nasty Petya malware. But you, on the other hand, have your own role to play. Always take sensible everyday precautions like making a regular backup of your computer, then keep the backup(s) offline from. Becuase they are as good as nothing if the stay connected to the host computer. Do not open email attachments in emails unless you know who they're from and you're expecting them.

Also Read:    The Difference Between Ransomware and Malware

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