UPDATE: Counter measure found to prevent spread of Petya virus, read our vaccine installation guide here.

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‘Petya’ Ransomware: What Is It, How Is It Spreading And What Should You Do?

 

As you will no doubt remember, in May of this year there was a large cyber-attack called WannaCry which forced thousands of businesses offline.  We have been alerted to a new strain of Ransomware called ‘Petya’ which is currently spreading around the world causing major havoc.

This is a particularly nasty variant of Ransomware, which encrypts the whole hard disk, rendering it useless.  WannaCry and most other types of Ransomware only encrypt files and folders of the victims’ computers, which are on the most part easily recoverable from a backup.

As yet, Microsoft have not released any additional updates, but we will continue to monitor the situation and update you.  I do recommend that you carry out a manual Windows update just in case.  To do this, please see the guide attached.

We advise that you carry out an update to your anti-virus to ensure that you are fully protected.  If you are unsure how to do this, please contact us and we will guide you through the process.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware acts by encrypting data stored on a file share and prevents access unless you pay the perpetrators for the decryption code.

How is it spreading?

One of the ways by which Petya is spreading is through indiscriminating email spam. The messages may use common ploys such as fake invoices, delivery notices, or some alarming note urging the recipient to open a .zip file attached to the message.  When the recipient launches the file, the Petya infection deployment begins.

Please, please be extra vigilant when opening email attachments and if you are not sure, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What to do if your PC is infected

If your computer has been infected, please contact your IT provider immediately.  If in event that you don’t currently have support, please give us a call and our friendly staff will be able to assist.