Over the weekend, news broke of a new ransomware threat called WannaCryptor.
WannaCryptor is a worm that was developed thanks to the release of a hacking tool developed by the US NSA in the called EternalBlue.
If you PC becomes infected, normally by one of the common methods, opening an infected email, an infected USB disk, or an infected website the worm will infect any PC on the network that does not have the appropriate security patch installed. The end result is that all your files will be encrypted and you will have to undertake a massive clean-up and restore from backup or consider dealing with the ransomware creator (with no guarantee of getting your files back).
Microsoft patched that vulnerability in March this year in supported systems. But PC's and servers that are not patched either automatically or manually will be vulnerable including (and of particular concern) is always those operating systems that are no longer supported. Microsoft has released a one-time update for Windows XP, Server 2003, and Windows 8 even though these operating systems are no longer supported and are in most cases well over 10 years old: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msrc/2017/05/12/customer-guidance-for-wannacrypt-attacks/
Nod32/Eset antivirus provider have provided this brief statement: "ESET products can detect and block this malware" (http://support.eset.com/alert6442/) However, there will be new variants released over the coming weeks so you should have multiple layers of protection.
The usual security precautions apply to try to prevent getting this (or any other) virus or malware:
- Don't open attachments from email where you don't know and trust the sender and be careful what links you click on
- Have a good antivirus product and make sure its up to date
- Be carefully when browsing the web and don't browse to unscrupulous websites
- Ensure that your PC's and servers are patched/updated (normally PC updates should be automated and servers are manually updated on a schedule)
- Don't be an administrator on your own PC for everyday use
- Have a good backup that is rotated off the PC or server so that there is always a backup not connected to your server or PC
- Don't use outdated and unsupported versions of Windows
- Have a disaster recovery strategy