Ransomware is a well-documented cyber-crime and it’s difficult to avoid hearing about for those involved with technology. On March 12th, a new strain of ransomware, called WannaCry, infected thousands of organizations across multiple countries in a matter of hours. Although ransomware has been an evolving threat, the speed at which this strain spread was unprecedented.
“We’ve never seen something on this scale and that’s because ransomware itself has been combined with a worm application that allows the infection from one computer to quickly spread across other networks. That’s why we’re seeing these numbers increasing all the time and right across different sectors, right across the world. The numbers are still going up.” – Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.
Microsoft, among many technology companies, have been on the front foot since the events of WannaCry and have been regularly releasing patch updates to protect systems from ransomware. This week, they have released further patch updates for Windows operating systems to protect vulnerabilities that could have been exploited in the same was as WannaCry. Further information can be found on Microsofts knowledge base site, Technet.
Part of Microsoft’s statement reads:
To improve security protections for customers, Microsoft provides vulnerability information to major security software providers in advance of each monthly security update release. Security software providers can then use this vulnerability information to provide updated protections to customers via their security software or devices, such as antivirus, network-based intrusion detection systems, or host-based intrusion prevention systems. To determine whether active protections are available from security software providers, please visit the active protections websites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.