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The WannaCrypt ransomware scam – what you need to know [PODCAST]

A hoax about ransomware called "WannaCrypt" has been widely spammed out. But is an attack of this sort technically possible?

A cybersecurity scare about ransomware called “WannaCrypt” has been widely spammed out.
The threat was pretty blunt, and boiled down to this: “We’ve infected your computer with disk-wiping malware that will detonate and destroy your data at X o’clock tomorrow. Pay us $650 in bitcoins before that time and we’ll send you a cleanup tool that will stop the malware before it does any damage.”
This one, fortunately, is a scam – there isn’t any malware – but the attack that the crooks describe could, in theory, be pulled off.
In this Sophos Security SOS podcast, Sophos experts Matt Boddy and Paul Ducklin investigate, and explain what to do.


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If I had received a threat like this without a tip like the above, I would use the 24 hours as follows:
1) Take a disk image backup
2) Take a regular backup image
3) Take a backup of all user-created files and an inventory of all installed software
If the malware were real and erasure (not erasion) took place, I’d try to restore from (1). If that reloaded the malware, I’d try (2). And if that failed, I’d (3) reload the OS and all my applications and files.
The flaw in this scam is the 24 hours notice. Too easy to safely hide your stuff away.


I like your style Laurence!
Certainly good advice to anyone concerned by an email threat of this style.


have fwd suspect emails to
still active?
was it usefull?
is it still usefull?
i’d like to still stay safe and secure


Yes, please keep sending stuff – you can use:
You won’t get a reply, I’m afraid – there’s just too much traffic to respond to every submission – but it helps everyone else so we are happy to receive your submissions. It’s a great way of helping the community.


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