I'm sure you've all heard about the "Crypto" virus that was sweeping everywhere east of JFK International airport a few weeks back. A few of you reached out to me and said "Why me?!?!"
I've been unusually silent on my concerns and here's why. I don't think with that particular variant there's much of a threat to my customer base. Microsoft actually released a fix months ago. If you're running a supported system like Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, you're protected. If you're running Windows XP, Microsoft went against their promise of no support and released an update for that. If you're running Windows Vista, at the time of patch release, it was getting updates. Not anymore. If you have computers running Windows XP or Windows Vista, YOU NEED TO GET RID OF THOSE SYSTEMS. If you have very old software that is no longer supported, then those computers can still be used but do not allow them on the internet or connected to other computers that are.
So who was susceptible to this attack? Believe it or not, a lot of businesses turn off Windows Updates until they can prove them in a test environment. Sometimes those tests take a very long time. So, if an update comes out in March, it may not get implemented for 6 months or longer. So, they're vulnerable in the meantime. They weigh the update's benefit vs the chance that an update can bring down computers in their environment. I don't have such worries. Yes, it does happen. But, the good outweighs the bad. Another group that was susceptible was the 'bootleg software' world. There's a lot of Microsoft users out there who are running on illegal license keys. Microsoft has always had a policy that if you get 'pirated' software, it will probably work but they will cut off any updates. So a lot of these third-world (in terms of computers) entities were basically caught with major exposure to the bad guys.