Users of Windows need to be aware ASAP of a new ransomware strain and take immediate measures to patch.
Specifically, on May 12, 2017 a new strain of the Ransom.CryptXXX (WannaCry) strain of ransomware began spreading widely impacting a large number of organizations, particularly in Europe.
Wcry is demanding a ransom of $300 to $600 in Bitcoin to be paid by May 15, or, in the event that deadline is missed, a higher fee by May 19. The messages left on the screen say files will remain encrypted. It's not yet clear if there are flaws in the encryption scheme that might allow the victims to restore the files without paying the ransom.
If you have yet to install the Microsoft fix—MS17-010— you should do so immediately. You should also be extremely suspicious of all e-mails you receive, particularly those that ask the recipient to open attached documents or click on Web links.
If you have seen nonstandard activity and believe your information may have been exposed, please contact Reality Bytes support ASAP.
If you're using Reality Bytes MSP services for software patch management as part of our RMM suite of tools, there is a very good chance you are already patched from this. Our techs are working diligently to ensure ALL our client's systems are protected.
However, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you be very careful about opening any emailed file attachments as this threat can potentially be embedded in ANY type of file.
May 15, 2017 UPDATE
To date, none of our customers have been affected by the WannaCry outbreak. We've been working 24/7 to ensure that any systems we have access to are patched beyond the minimum patch level that Microsoft released a statement about in late March.