That virus that shut down networks around the world this week, the one that’s been dubbed Petya, isn’t propagating like crazy anymore. But as we’ve learned more about it, it has begun to look even more consequential — less of a disaster than a prophecy.
Point one: Petya turns out not to be “ransomware” at all. It asked users to pay money to free their data, but their data has already been deleted (The Verge).
Ransomware attacks — in which virally propagated malware spreads from computer to computer, locking up owners’ data until a ransom is paid — are becoming a regular thing. Yesterday the latest one emerged in Europe, hobbling banks, communications systems, and power companies in Ukraine and spreading sporadically around the world (The Guardian).
The new attack is similar to the Wannacry incident last month in that it exploits an old vulnerability in Microsoft Windows — if you’re up to date, you should be safe — and depends, at least in part, on hacking tools originally developed by the NSA.
It seems like just about every day there’s news about an online service getting hacked. If you log into your Dropbox account and get a feeling something funny’s going on, there’s an easy way to check to see if your account is still secure.
Click on your avatar in the upper-right side of the screen and then click on Settings in the drop down menu.