WannaCry Ransomware How to Protect Yourself

WannaCry  (aka WannaCrypt) is a malicious program that once introduced to a PC running Microsoft Windows Operating System, encrypts all of the data files and demands payment in the form of Bitcoin (internet currency) in an amount between $300 and $600. This week experts are preparing for copy cat attacks and updated versions of the ransomware. In light of that threat we have sent this special alert.

This is a screen shot of the Wannacry Alert:


Remember ransomware must be delivered to your system usually in the form of a phishing attack or malicious download (visit our Facebook Page where we have previously posted on how to avoid these). However once it is uploaded to a network, it can spread like a worm infecting every PC on the network.

*Below we’ve gather info on how to protect yourself from Wannacry, links to update and “patch” your Microsoft operating system, and learn more about WannaCry and how it’s being spread.

  1. If you use Windows, install the patch that Microsoft has released to block the specific exploit that the WannaCry ransomware is using. You can find instructions on this page in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. You can also directly download the patches for your OS from the Microsoft Update Catalog.
  2. If you are using an unsupported version of Windows like Windows XP, Windows 2008 or Server 2003, you can get the patches for your unsupported OS from the Update Catalog. We do recommend that you update to a supported version of Windows as soon as possible.
  3. Update your Anti-virus software definitions. Most AV vendors have now added detection capability to block WannaCry.
  4. If you don’t have anti-virus software enabled on your Windows machine, we recommend you enable Windows Defender which is free.
  5. Backup regularly and make sure you have off-line backups. That way, if you are infected with ransomware, it can’t encrypt your backups.
  6. For further reading, Microsoft has released customer guidance for the WannaCry attacks and Troy Hunt has done an excellent detailed writeup on the WannaCry ransomware.


Phil Archer
State Attorney
18th Judicial Circuit
Brevard & Seminole Counties