WannaCry cyber attack


Friday brought one of the most significant malware outbreaks the world has seen in the past few years. This ransomware, called WannaCry (and variations such as WCry and WannaCrypt0r 2.0), is able to spread from computer to computer inside networks, a significant change from how recent malware has behaved. The attacks have caused major disruption to hospitals, telecom companies and gas/utility plants. Among the organisations that took the worst hits is the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

Unlike other ransomware families, the WannaCrytor strain does not spread via infected e-mails or infected links. Instead, it takes advantage of a security hole in most Windows versions to automatically execute itself on the victim PC. According to various reports, this attack avenue has been developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US as a cyber-weapon and it was leaked to the public earlier in April along with other classified data allegedly stolen from the agency.

IT Hotdesk & our security partners started updating systems within hours, however only around 30% of security products are identifying WannaCry malware as at this time. In addition, variants of WannaCry are already being seen in the wild making it more difficult to detect.

To stay safe a Microsoft Security Patch (MS17-010) is required to be deployed that protects the operating system from the vulnerability that the Malware exposes. Because the risk of being infected is high, we are currently developing an emergency deployment of the security update to all managed customers. The deployment will be delivered via our management systems. We would encourage that you communicate to your colleagues so they are aware of the steps being taken to protect the systems.

If you have received this email and are not a managed customer of IT Hotdesk or you wish to ensure that your home PC’s are protected, at a minimum you must download the patch from Microsoft Update (MS17-010) and install it. This can be done from the Windows Update in control panel.

If you require further information or help then our teams are ready to assist.

Gordon Christie

Managing Director – IT Hotdesk

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