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Ransomware threat resulting from leaked NSA hacking tools - May 15

Monday, May 15, 2017

What is happening? In mid-April 2017, hacking tools alleged to have been developed by the NSA were released to the public.  These tools exploit a flaw in all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.  Microsoft had released updates in March 2017 to correct the flaw in supported versions of Windows.  On Friday, May 12, a ransomware worm named “WannaCry” attacked hundreds of thousands of computers in approximately 150 countries by exploiting this vulnerability.  While the initial malware outbreak was stopped by a security researcher, we expect more attacks given the pervasiveness of the flaw.

Who is at risk? Any computer running the Microsoft Windows operating system.

What you can do to protect your Windows computer:

How to protect Windows servers: Consider using Windows Firewall for additional protection. It is recommended that you deny inbound connections by default, and allow connections only specifically required.

Additional resources:

Questions or concerns? Contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.

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