Not the Russians, this time it’s the US!

LOL (not) as media is reporting the worldwide ransom-ware hackers may be using an US National Security Agency cyber weapon which uses a Microsoft exploit to invade computers. 100 plus countries including Russia, Turkey, Germany, Vietnam, and the Philippines have been affected.

The WannaCry virus targets Microsoft’s widely used Windows operating system.
You know, that bloatware piece of programing disaster that is so intrusive and records everything you do. Rather like Google does.

UK-based researcher Kevin Beaumont tweeted that WannaCry was using a NSA attack tool, which exploited a now-patched Microsoft Windows vulnerability, also known as MS17-010. ‘MS17-010 is the best candidate for this ransomware attack,’ Matthew Hickey, co-founder of British cybersecurity training hub Hacker House, told Forbes.

Two of the US’s major “gifts” to the world, not forgetting the NSA, ensuring you have No privacy AT ALL! Bit late now but here’s a little process to help protect yourself:

  1. Make a conscious decision AND DUMP ALL Microsoft Products.
  2. Use only reputable Browsers NOT invasive ones like Internet Explorer.
  3. Consider not using the big search engines like Google or Yahoo.
  4. Use reputable antivirus software and a firewall.
    (Most good antivirus have one built-in).
  5. Back up your computer data files daily using two USB keys, alternately)
  6. Set up a pop-up blocker
  7. DON’T click on links inside emails or on suspicious websites
    Never open hyperlinks or attachments in any emails that are suspicious.
  8. Never allow remote access to your computer!
  9. Turn off automatic updates. Control their installation manually.
  10. Enable two-factor authentication
  11. Encrypt your internet traffic using a virtual private network (VPN) service.
    BUT NOTE:- Some of the more stupid world governments are still pushing to make encryption illegal .
  12. Tighten up your password security.
    Hackers often steal a login and password from one site and try to use it on others.
    One password for everything is plainly STUPID!

So if you do all this will you be 100% immune from ‘infection’.
NO!
Once on the web, plugged in,  you are literally walking though a high-tech minefield most of which is operating beyond the control of the end-user.

How can I be 100% safe? Unplug.
Keep all your critical data on a computer which is NOT connected in any way to the Internet only adding files that have been carefully screened by a good, regularly updated anti-virus system, AND keep all your critical files on a USB disk storage as a back up.

Problem One.
Using a disc safe/ USB key.
Know that little tag on the side (IF FITTED)? That’s a read only switch. Thus, once set,  you can copy files FROM the key onto the computer but unless you release that switch, you can’t WRITE (save) to the USB. That would mean you can read files on an unknown computer in relative safety but it’s NEVER safe to release that lock on another computer so you can’t update the content.

The next question would be how would you know if a computer is safe or not?
The answer is YOU DON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After all it’s not the hardware that cocks things up, ultimately it’s always the user (or Microsoft) which ever came first! (And yes, I’m REALLY anti Microsoft)

Problem 2.
All antivirus updates come online.
You have no choice but to download those updates onto a separate USB key (if the antivirus software will allow that) and sweep them before AND AFTER INSTALLATION for viruses. The fun bit about it is you need to back up BEFORE updating your antivirus on your UNPLUGGED MACHINE.

Getting complicated?
At first yes BUT it’ll soon become an automatic process.

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One Response to Not the Russians, this time it’s the US!

  1. Anyone with internet banking should also be aware that should any funds be lost through their account, the bank may not reimburse them should certain security features/systems not be in place. Simple choice, don’t do any banking on-line!

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