News Article

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WannaCry: All team members can help battle this massive international cyberthreat

You may be familiar with the screen shot pictured here from the WannaCry malware that’s hit 174 countries and more than 200,000 businesses.

The malware encrypts victims' computer systems and locks users out of critical data until they pay a ransom fee. According to the New York Times, the attack affected at least 45 hospitals and other medical facilities in Britain, many of which were running outdated versions of Windows.

During the attack, doctors were unable to access patient files, which forced many to cancel surgeries and led EDs to divert patients who needed urgent care. Affected hospitals were instructed to take vital equipment, such as MRI scanners and X-ray machines, offline. To cope with the attack, providers and pharmacists resorted to paper to collect patient information and submit and fill prescriptions, the Times reported.

This came from opening fake emails, links or attachments, and there’s a continuing issue regarding how to determine if an email is fake or real. So how can you avoid becoming a victim of this kind of cyberattack?

It’s important to remember that all email users should exercise the same level of caution with each and every email that arrives in their inbox. Ask yourself these questions before opening any email, especially from an unknown sender:

    1, Does this email pertain to legitimate business purposes? (Y/N)

    2, Do you know the sender of this email? (Y/N)

    3, If the email contains either an embedded web link or an attachment, were you expecting delivery of this information from this user? (Y/N)

    4, If the email contains either an embedded web link or an attachment, did you get confirmation that the person who sent you the email intended for you to get it? (Y/N)

    5, Make sure the email does NOT imply the need for immediate action (e.g., account will be locked, credit card will be charged, if you don’t act, etc.). Is it safe in this regard?(Y/N)

If you answered “No” to any of the questions above, the email should not be opened, but should be deleted.

Thank you for your hard work at ensuring that Mountain States Information Systems are kept unaffected by malware.