4 Things to Know About the Scary New Cyberattack

cyber worry
Photo by fizkes / Shutterstock.com

A massive ransomware cyberattack rolled out by hackers on May 12 has already racked up more than 200,000 victims across 150 countries. Are you vulnerable? Let’s find out.

What is WannaCry?

WannaCry is a malware that locks up a computer’s files and then threatens to delete all the data unless the user ponies up a ransom — in bitcoins — to unlock them, says CNBC.

Talos, a security research wing of networking giant Cisco, says the cyberattack’s lengthy list of victims includes high-profile targets like the Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica, the National Health Service in the United Kingdom and FedEx in the U.S.

Who is at risk?

WannaCry affects computers with a Windows operating system. So if you use Windows, you could be at risk, says CNBC. The BBC says home users are “very unlikely to be affected” by WannaCry because “the vulnerable bit of Windows will either not be installed, or there will not be any other vulnerable computers on their home network.”

What should you do if WannaCry has infected your computer?

Although it might seem tempting to simply pay the demanded ransom so you can regain access to your computer files, experts say it’s important to remember that ponying up for ransom doesn’t ensure a fix for your impacted files. As the BBC explains:

It is probably best to assume that access to any files that were not backed up on a drive disconnected from your computer have now been lost forever.

How can you protect yourself?

According to USA Today:

“Patch your computers. They should have the latest software update. If not, update right away. Patched computers carry a much lower risk of being infected by malware or ransomware than those without an update.”

It’s also a good idea to ensure your anti-virus is up to date. In addition, make sure you back up your computer’s files. For more information, check out “5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Computer and Tech Safe in 2017.”

Microsoft says the cyberattack is a “wake-up call” for collective action against hackers.

“We need the tech sector, customers, and governments to work together to protect against cybersecurity attacks,” says Microsoft.

Have you been the victim of a cyberattack? Share below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Current events have you feeling anxious? These Amazon products can take the edge off.

3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts
3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts

Protecting a nest egg is tough enough. Don’t make the situation far worse.

10 Mistakes That Cost You Money at Warehouse Stores
10 Mistakes That Cost You Money at Warehouse Stores

Wholesale clubs might have great deals, but these mistakes will cost you.

3 Costly Social Security Mistakes That Women Make
3 Costly Social Security Mistakes That Women Make

Women face unique challenges when planning for retirement and making these mistakes can result in a skimpier retirement.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target

No store can specialize in everything. For some purchases, it’s smart to shop elsewhere.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores
8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores

For one expert, these secondhand bargains stand out from the rest.

20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees
20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees

Retirees can dial back the intensity of work while continuing to bring in a paycheck.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

11 Foods That Can Keep for Years
11 Foods That Can Keep for Years

These are some of the longest-lasting groceries you can buy.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report
8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report

Federal law lets these entities peek at your credit — regardless of whether you’re borrowing money.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.