On Tuesday this week another large scale ransomware attack, “NotPetya”, hit organisations across the globe. The NotPeyta cyber attack victims included the Ukrainian central bank, Russian oil giant Rosneft, British advertising firm WPP and the global law firm DLA Piper.
It is believed the NotPeyta cyber attack may have been started via corrupted updates on a piece of accountancy software, Ukrainian tax-filing software, MEDoc. While it is not expected to spread as widely as the WannaCry attack there is still a risk that your PC could be hit.
Worryingly, the code behind NotPetya was built to destroy systems and data, not extort money even though it demanded $300.
NotPeyta cyber attack vaccine
Running an up-to-date version of Windows should be sufficient to prevent the attack taking hold if it were to infect your PC. However, security researchers have also discovered a “vaccine” (or kill switch) that can limit the damage of the ransomware.
In summary, this requires the creation of a read-only file, named “perfc” to be placed in a certain directory on every workstation, laptop and server. This will protect the machine that holds the perfc file from attack. Unfortunately, it doesn’t prevent the ransomware from spreading to other vulnerable computers so these will also need to be updated.
This latest cyber attack is an important reminder to be vigilant when opening email attachments and clicking on links in emails you receive. We urge you to “think before you click”. Ask yourself; “am I expecting it?”, “does the filename look sensible?”, “do I know the sender”, “is the email text written well?” etc. before opening. If in doubt consult your IT provider first.
As well as email, apply the same caution to internet downloads as these could also include malware.
If you would like help installing the vaccine or need general cyber security advice, please call us on 01392 207194 or drop us an email.