Number of Australian WannaCry victims grows

As of 9am AEST today at least a dozen Australian small businesses are believed to have been hit by WannaCry/WannaCrypt ransomware, according to the government.

The minister assisting the prime minister for cyber security, Dan Tehan, said that government agencies and the nation’s critical infrastructure have not been affected by the malware campaign.

“Small business owners should be pro-active about their cyber security in the wake of this ransomware campaign affecting computers around the world,” Tehan said in a statement.

“If your business has been infected you should isolate the affected computer from your network to prevent the software spreading and use backup data to restore information.”

The minister called on businesses to immediately apply Windows security patches.

“While the spread of the Ransomware appears to have temporarily slowed, it is still critical that businesses and individuals patch the operating systems on their computers,” a statement from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) said.

Microsoft in March released a patch for the SMB vulnerability exploited by WanaCrypt. However, that patch was only for versions of Windows still supported by the software vendor – but Microsoft on 13 May also released patches for out-of-support versions of Windows affected by the vulnerability.

Security experts have warned that paying the Bitcoin ransom demanded by WannaCry’s authors is likely to be pointless.

Tehan urged businesses to visit the website of the ACSC or phone (1300 CYBER1) for more information.


Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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