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A Unique, Globally-Affecting Ransomware Virus

managed services HoustonManaged services providers in Houston are pushing patch solutions for a number of reasons, not least among them the WannaCry ransomware attack which took place Friday the 12th, 2017, and is still ongoing as of this writing. It has infected computers in over 150 countries. Almost a quarter of a million computers have been affected by this ransomware, and the hackers are demanding bitcoin payment.

What these pernicious and clever hackers did is exploit a weakness from programming circulated by the NSA for means of monitoring. To put it in non-technical terms, the NSA made it so Windows computers have a kind of “backdoor” to facilitate monitoring. Hackers figured this out and used that backdoor to upload a ransomware worm which holds files for ransom against bitcoin payment. The NSA realized the vulnerability and Microsoft sent out a patch for it, but not all networks had implemented it in the two months they had to do so before the WannaCry malware was disseminated worldwide.

Infection without Action

The WannaCry malware came from an SMB port, it didn’t come from a phishing scam or a link a user shouldn’t have clicked. This is one of the most devious aspects of it: you don’t have to do anything to get infected. So far, it seems as though the problem has been overcome; but like a flickering flame, the ransomware virus is still facilitating lock-outs, and it will definitely be reconfigured for effectiveness by the hackers who deployed it.

Managed services providers in Houston will certainly advise being cognizant of new patches and being diligent to apply them with all expedience whenever said patches become available. Those computers affected would have been perfectly safe if they had been current on their patching. This is one reason why you need a technology solution keeping an eye on these things for you. Most small to medium-sized businesses don’t have the time to continuously pay attention to developing IT news. A tech company will always be monitoring such developments, as they directly impact the bottom line of operations.

The Right Protection

When you’ve got the right MSP, they’re going to automatically alert you when new patches are necessary, and you may even be able to configure it so that they automatically upload such solutions immediately upon discovery of their necessity. When it comes to security, the right MSP will offer features like:

  • Immediate patching
  • Anti-malware/spyware/adware software
  • Proactive monitoring for suspicious behavior
  • Backup and data recovery as an ultimate failsafe

It is currently supposed that WannaCray, which is also known as “WannaCrypt,” will transition beyond existing patches and the kill switch that has been currently employed to shut it down. That kill switch is domain-based. Such suppositions are quickly being proven correct. As it turns out, researchers have uncovered a variety of different ransomware iterations rooted in the original WannaCry code. This Windows malware will require different kill switch solutions and is relatively easy to stop, but if you don’t have the right kind of support through a managed service provider, you may not be equipped to stop it.


Managed services in Houston are a necessary component in retaining security, and ensuring systems are continually patched in the event of malicious software being spread worldwide. At HoustonTech, we offer top-tier, cost-effective solutions that not only protect systems, but can reboot them should the worst case scenario arise and the best protections prove defunct. Contact us for solutions you can trust in, and patches that will keep viral infections from compromising your business’s operations.