A new major ransomware attack unleashed with full force last Wednesday. The attack was initially thought to have spread solely in Europe and Asia, but earlier today we received confirmations that businesses and individuals based in North America and Australia have been affected too. Pittsburgh’s local TV station confirmed hospitals part of Heritage Valley Health System had been caught up in the attack. Luckily there are no reports for any significant implications except a few postponed surgeries.

A few other US companies are amongst the affected. The fast-spreading virus called Petya is a strain of the WannaCry malware, the one that affected hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world back in May. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet however, several sources point to Russia as alleged country of origin of the attack.

What to do if you have been affected

We surely advise you not to pay the ransom, paying the hackers encourages them to continue their quest for stealing your hard earned cash. Also, you will probably not be able to get your files unlocked even if you pay them. The cyber criminals may receive the money and ask for more. Do not fall victim but be prepared instead – backup your files once a week!

How to avoid becoming a victim?

First and foremost, keep your OS fully updated. One of the main reasons people still get affected by such hacker attacks is the fact that they are not updating their operating systems. Some business, including hospitals, do not make the updates because they cannot afford the downtime but you do not have an excuse. The next thing you should do is to avoid browsing the internet without having an anti-virus software installed on your device. Not having anti-virus guardian angel watching out for you at all times is irresponsible.

Here at Panda Security, we wanted to remind you that your safety, the security of your loved ones and your business, is our priority number one! Panda Security’s Panda Protection is one of the very few anti-virus software products on the market that managed to detect and quarantine the virus before it affects your files. Keeping the people who trust us protected, is what we do best!