Published On: Thu, May 18th, 2017

Virtual virus that disrupted the world hits Merida companies

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Companies that have been infected say that the virus asks for thousands of pesos as ransom.

MERIDA — Three companies in the city have been attacked by the digital virus named “WannaCry”, which has been classified as Ransomware, meaning that it retains information and returns it in exchange of big amounts of money.

The digital security specialist, Hugo López de los Santos, confirmed at least three cases in Merida, although there may be more. These companies were required to pay $120,000 pesos ($6,300 USD) for each infected machine.

The first affected enterprise was a building company. Here the computers that belong to the administrative manager, the owner and the one containing the development projects were attacked. The second attack was recorded against a physician office, in which two machines were infected. Also one computer that belongs to a hardware company was affected with the virus.

López de los Santos said that it is probable that the entrepreneurs did not make the official complaint with the authorities, since it would be delayed and difficult to locate those responsible, because it is a problem of international origin.

The virus requires the immediate payment of money if you want the information back. However, local companies have managed to recover about 70% of their data without making any payment.

Ransomware has disrupted the entire globe, and according to international media such as “The Economist”, the main cost that this virus has caused in Mexico is operational, as it has required analysts to restore the operating system of companies.

Screen after been infected by a Ransomware virus (Image: Google)

Screen after been infected by a Ransomware virus (Image: Google)



What you must do for not to be affected by the ‘ransomware’ viruses

Ransomware is a malicious code that encrypts files and abducts them. To unlock them requires a key to enter them. For the same reason, it asks for a monetary bailout to deliver that key to the victim. It could infect almost all Microsoft’s commercial softwares.

According to the expert reports, such attacks are expected to continue, affecting not only businesses but also ordinary people. For the same reason, Microsoft remarked that all their users should enable Windows Update immediately.

According to The Huffington Post Mexico to avoid being infected it is necessary to keep updated the operating system and do not use versions without official support. Open Windows Update or the Mac App Store and install all system security updates. It is inconvenient for Windows to restart or it will take forever to shut down because there is a pending upgrade, but make sure that all patches are unloaded on their own because it is crucial for you to be protected.

Set up an automatic backup of your files. You just need an external hard drive. In Windows 10 go to Settings> Updates and Security> Backup> “Add Drive” and make sure all your important folders are selected to be periodically copied to the external drive.

Avoid viewing or opening images, videos or any PDF or Office document from non secured sources. Especially social networks, messaging or emails arrived in the last 24 hours. Be aware of .exe files.

Do not open sites or emails from banks, requesting information. And even more so if it bring some files attached. A Ransomware can come within almost any type of file such as PDF, JPG (photos), XLSX, DOCX.

Avoid sharing information with others by removable media. Like external hard drives or USB’s. Use alternative sharing tools like Google Drive. Do not open or share by any way, except Drive, documents with external sources. Maintain attention with the documents that have been shared in the last 24 hours.

Do not look for inforRation about ransomware or do not browse sites you normally do not, there are also reports of infected sites.

Sources:

Mexico Travel Care

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