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Please read the information below regarding a new strain of Ransomware (WannaCry) which has been affecting numerous PC’s and was the cause of the NHS computer shutdown yesterday.
On May 12, 2017 a new strain of the Ransom.CryptXXX (WannaCry) strain of ransomware began spreading widely impacting a large number of organizations, particularly in Europe. Wcry is demanding a ransom of $300 to $600 in Bitcoin to be paid by May 15, or, in the event that deadline is missed, a higher fee by May 19. The messages left on the screen say files will remain encrypted. It’s not yet clear if there are flaws in the encryption scheme that might allow the victims to restore the files without paying the ransom.
The initial attack vector has been email, through spam. These messages are typically fake invoices, job offers and other lures which are sent to random email addresses. Within the email is a .zip file and once clicked, that initiates the WannaCry infection.
You should be extremely suspicious of all e-mails you receive, particularly those that ask the recipient to open attached documents or click on Web links.
Please also make sure that all Windows updates are installed and up to date.
- In Windows 10 click the start button and then settings (cog icon) and then press “Check for updates”
- In Windows 7 go to Control Panel and select the Windows Update icon and then check for updates.
In both cases allow all critical updates to download and install.
If you are affected
If you are affected by this Ransomware you should immediately disconnect your PC from any network connections and contact Firecrest IT Ltd.
Fraudsters are sending out a high number of phishing emails to university email addresses claiming to be from their own HR department. These email addresses are either spoofed or in some cases using compromised university email accounts.
The email claims that the recipient is entitled to a pay rise from their department and to click on a link to claim the pay rise.
This link then takes you to a spoofed university website telling you to enter to your personal details (including university login details and financial information). These financial details can then be used by criminals, and the login details are usually passed around and sold for future fraud campaigns.
It is advisable that all universities prompt all staff and students to change any password associated with their university email/IT accounts. Due to potential data breaches, it is recommended that universities discuss with the IT departments about issuing a mandatory password reset for all users.
Please also consider the following actions:
- Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication. Information on how to locate email headers can be found at https://mxtoolbox.com/Public/Content/EmailHeaders/
- Use strong passwords which include a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters, and include both upper and lower case characters. Furthermore, it is encouraged that random words as opposed to passwords with personal meanings (e.g. children’s names)
- Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
- If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should immediately contact your bank.
- If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Thanks to Gwent Now
PC Performance can be interpreted in several ways such as; the time it takes for startup, the time taken to open a particular program or the time it takes to browse the internet.
You may experience some or all of these symptoms and it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many factors that influence each of these which you can investigate individually.
There are also some very common items that will slow your PC to a crawl and leave you tearing your hair out waiting for something to happen. Below I have described 4 simple steps that will help to improve your computer without spending any money. Continue reading “PC Performance – 4 ways to improve your Windows PC”
Computer users have been left unable to connect to the Internet after an automatic Windows update broke a critical networking component. Microsoft confirmed some people have experienced “difficulties” since the routine patch was released.
Your choice of IT provider is key to getting IT which helps your business work more efficiently. A good IT provider will understand how you work, then build a vision of how technology can help you. Craig Sharp from Business Wales explains how to find the right IT provider for your business. Continue reading “How to find an IT provider”
As your business IT equipment approaches the end of its useful life, there comes a point where you need to decide whether it’s worth performing a hardware upgrade, or whether purchasing replacement equipment is the better option. Craig Sharp from Business Wales considers the choices. Continue reading “IT equipment – upgrade or buy new?”
Firecrest IT Ltd are pleased to support Home Start Monmouthshire.
Do you really know how Ransomware works?
Our thanks to Get Safe Online