Hackers have once again struck with a ransomware attack that is affecting IT systems throughout the world. The virus, codenamed “Petya”, seems to have originated in the Ukraine and has mostly affected IT systems in the Ukraine and in Russia, but the attacks have also affected systems around the world including in the United States. Some of you may remember a similar attack in May of this year that shutdown the systems of a number of businesses and organizations around the world when computers were attacked by the “WannaCry” ransomware virus.
Some of you may be wondering what a ransomware attack is? With a ransomware attack, the hackers infect computers with a virus that encrypts and locks files and/or hard drives. Once a computer is infected a message is displayed to the user that their files are locked and in order to unlock their files they must pay a certain sum of money using a digital payment system, like BitCoin.
Here are some steps that can be taken to better protect yourself from these attacks:
- Keep your system and apps up to date. These latest attacks have been exploiting out of date software.
- Have your antivirus program run regular scans to check for any viruses that may be on the computer.
- Regularly backup your most important information. That way if it is lost, you can recover it.
If you have have been infected been a ransomware virus immediately power off your computer and call a local IT company to remove the virus from your computer.