Researchers have come up with counter measures to tackle the new strain of Petya ransomware that is currently infecting computers across more than 60 countries. The malware was for a short time feared to be ‘invincible’ as it had no kill-switch (WannaCry had a URL which allowed for quick deactivation). Unfortunately, the prevention is no cure, and does not help owners of systems already infected – and as the email provider used by the distributor shut down their mailbox, even paying the bitcoin ransom will not get users the decryption key.
But more about the good news!
IB Times has itemised a seven-step preventative strategy for dealing with this latest cyberattack. First of all, and most obvious, make sure all anti-virus and security software is always right up to date. Secondly, bamboozle the Petya malware by creating a bogus file in its name, as this will prevent it from running on your machine. Steps three through to six are a bit more technical and require some additional IT knowledge – but are otherwise quite straight-forward.
The final action is to alert all staff to shut down their computers immediately if they restart unexpectedly, and not to restart it until the IT SWAT team gives the go-ahead. Follow these procedures and all should be well (hopefully!).