The big news of the week is the latest computer virus outbreak, known generally as “Petya,” although technically Petya was an older virus and this latest outbreak is a more sophisticated variant. Hundreds of thousands of machines have been infected, the majority in Eastern Europe, and the majority running Windows 7.
Microsoft’s Windows Security Blog goes into quite a bit of detail about the new threat, including what the company has done and is doing to mitigate the threat:
To protect our customers, we released cloud-delivered protection updates and made updates to our signature definition packages shortly after. These updates were automatically delivered to all Microsoft free antimalware products, including Windows Defender Antivirus and Microsoft Security Essentials. You can download the latest version of these files manually at the Malware Protection Center.
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP) automatically detects behaviors used by this new ransomware variant without any updates.
If you’re fully patched, and using Windows Defender AntiVirus, you should be protected, although Microsoft has been recommending since last month’s WannaCry virus outbreak that you take the additional step of disabling SMBv1, which will be deprecated in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Do you know anyone affected by this latest attack? Has news of these new threats made you think differently about keeping your systems up to date? Or are you one of those “it only happens to the other guy” types? Let us know what you think about Petya and keeping your system up to date in the comments below.