Ransomware cyber attack reaches Texas Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Ransomware cyber attack reaches Texas Panhandle

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
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Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

Hundreds of thousands of computers were compromised in a global cyber attack including some here in the Panhandle. The most recent cyber attack is known as a Ransomware Virus because it essentially takes private documents on your computer and holds them hostage.

The attack, called WannaCry, started last Friday in Europe and security analysts are now calling it the largest cyber crime attack the world has ever seen.

Within days WannaCry had crippled health care systems, disrupted cellular communication, and cost businesses millions.

The United States was not hit as hard as Europe and Asia, however NewsChannel10 has confirmed at least one case in Hereford.

Cyber Security experts in the Panhandle say regardless of your security system, this virus can access your network if have not updated your operating system.

"All it takes is for one employee to open an email that is questionable, click a link and it infects you," said Chance Fansler a Security Administrator with CTG. "Once the virus is inside your network it wreaks havoc, you're no longer protected by your walls or your boarders."

None of CTG's clients in the Panhandle were compromised. However, they did spend the majority of their morning reassuring people their networks are secure.

Simple steps such as updating your software and keeping the latest Anti-virus programs running will help protect your documents. Finally, educating yourself and employees on what emails are safe versus a potential virus. You can find more information on how to spot scam emails here.

Cyber Security Analyst estimate around 60% of small and medium sized businesses that are hit with ransomware are out of business within six-months.

"The days of 'my company is too small' or 'I don't make enough money' are long gone," said Fansler. "Eventually this will come across your doorstep and you'll either be the guy out in the rain crying or you'll be the guy with the umbrella saying 'this is rough for a week, but I'm going to survive the storm.'"

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