By Paul Hirsch, Senior Technology Strategist
On Friday (May 12th) the news was abuzz with reports of damage from the “WannaCry” ransomware worm. By combining a worm, (which spreads through a network automatically), with a ransomware payload, (where your data is encrypted and held hostage), it quickly caused a lot of damage.
WannaCry uses a vulnerability discovered by the NSA and code named “EternalBlue”. It was recently revealed by an intelligence leak, after which Microsoft released a patch in mid-March 2017 named MS17-010.
If all your systems are patched and running a supported version of Windows (Vista, 7, 8.1, 10, Server 2008, Server 2008R2, Server 2012, Server 2012R2, or Server 2016), you can stop reading now. You should already have protection against WannaCry.
If you are still running Windows XP, Server 2003, or Windows 8 (not 8.1) you are in luck: Microsoft took mercy on you and has released special patches for those unsupported Windows versions, too. (Listed below.)
Remember, this is a special case! If you are still using XP or 2003 you are still at risk from other unpatched vulnerabilities. PLEASE replace all XP and Server 2003 systems as soon as possible.
Fetch the appropriate patch from the following Microsoft Update links:
- Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64 (64bit)
- Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86 (32bit)
- Windows XP SP3 x86 (32bit)
- Windows XP SP2 x64 (64bit)
- Windows 8 x86 (32bit)
- Windows 8 x64 (64bit)