KEYC - In Wake Of World Cyber Scare, Help Form I.T. Professionals

In Wake Of World Cyber Scare, Help Form I.T. Professionals

Posted: Updated:
Greater Mankato Area -

Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyber–extortion attack on Friday. The attack locked up computers and held user's files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies, and government agencies. The malicious software behind the onslaught of cyber attacks has moved across the world.   It was believed to the biggest attack of its kind ever recorded. 

This "Ransomware" has not been reported in the Mankato area, but it's still enough to have some I.T. professionals wary about the possibility of an attack. It looks like the attacks exploited a vulnerability in older versions Microsoft Windows.

"These vulnerabilities are different," said Paul Hanson of Gustavus AdolphusTechnology Services. "They exist and somebody finds them, and then it's up to the software vendor to make a patch available to prevent it."

Schools, hospitals, and businesses all depend on networking and information technology and it can just take one person opening the wrong email to make the whole system come crumbling down.

"People get emails with attachments, like zip files or a word document," added Hanson. "They click on that and it asks for permission to install something on their computer."

"We haven't seen anything with the current ransomware that's been going around, but we've have seen several different cases of it come through our shop," said the owner of Tech Connect Plus Nathan Stolt.

The best way to keep computer safe is to stay up–to–date and downloading the latest updates for your operating system.

"Make sure that you don't turn off your notifications for updates or ignore them for too long. That's a huge thing. Its probably the single most important factor, to keep things up–to–date," said Hanson.

If you believe you've been infected, it's best to take your computer to a local professional.

"If you have any questions about anything that might have popped up on your screen, you certainly want to call your local tech professional and find out if this is something you should worry about. It's just a phone call. Worst–case scenario you find out you should bring it in, or it might just be as simple as a little malware that can be easily repaired," said Stolt.