If you thought your family photographs were unlikely to find their way into the grubby paws of computer hackers and be held for ransom‚ you may want to reconsider.
A global ransomware attack wormed its way onto the computers of hospitals‚ companies‚ state agencies and individuals this weekend. The WannaCry virus‚ which started spreading worldwide on Friday‚ had locked up more than 200‚000 computers in over 150 countries‚ including South Africa‚ by Sunday.
Cyber security expert and head of LAWtrust Aleksandar Valjarevic said the public must be educated on the importance of operating system updates.
“Software vendors are always working to keep software up to date and safe from being compromised. So there could be a fault in the software that gets picked up either by a hacker or by the company‚ and once it is fixed users will get an alert to install the update.
“The update has the fix in it‚ if these updates are ignored the weaknesses remain‚ making machines vulnerable to attack.”
While the usual requirement of antivirus and firewalls are necessary‚ these do not enough to provide full protection‚ Valjarevic said.
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