Petya ransomware: Check how to protect your computers

Here's what needs to be done once the desktop computer gets infected by Petya.

protection from petya

The Petya ransomware has by far attacked high-profile companies around the world through its variant GoldenEye. While it has not locked down as many organisations as WannaCry did in May, it is more dangerous and damaging.

Some of the affected as of this time are: Russia's top oil producer Rosneft, steelmaker Evraz and bank Home Credit; Denmark's shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk; UK's biggest advertising firm WPP; US pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co.; Ukraine's Boryspil Airport, state power distributor Ukrenergo, some banks and companies; France's construction material firm Saint-Gobain; Germany's postal and logistic firm Deutsche Post and wholesale store Metro; Australia's food company Mondelez International; India's container port JNPT.

There is no more helpless than being robbed of access to one's computer data and have it retrieved in exchange for US$300. Here's what needs to be done once the desktop computer gets infected by Petya.

Patch download

Most of Microsoft Windows versions are vulnerable to Petya, including Windows 10, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Sever 2008, and Windows 2008 R2.

While older versions could be more susceptible, this gives no assurance that Petya will spare those running on newer versions of Windows. Hence, it is important to download patches rolled out by Microsoft to update the device. If the desktop computer does not support automatic download and installation of patches, do it manually via Microsoft's website.

External data backup

In most cases, computer backups are intended to secure necessary data or files. This is true when it comes to cyber attacks as well. Make sure to back up data using third-party sources such as external hard drives and cloud to ensure safety.

Other reminders

Make sure to have protection software installed on the computer. Choose one that pushes alerts or notifications when a malware tries to encrypt files.

When receiving a shady email from a suspicious source, do not open it since it may launch an attack. When using the public Wi-Fi, change the necessary security settings when connecting to this network because it makes users viewable in public.

This article was first published on June 28, 2017