On Saturday to prepare for a renewed cyber-attack, convinced that a lull in a computer offensive that has stopped car factories, hospitals, schools and other organizations in around 100 countries was only temporary.
The pace of the attack by a destructive virus dubbed WannaCry slowed late on Friday, after the so-called "ransomware" locked up more than 100,000 computers, demanding owners pay to $300 to $600 get their data back. Companies rushed to protect Windows systems with patches that Microsoft released last month and on Friday. WannaCry exploited a vulnerability to spread itself across networks, a rare and powerful feature that caused infections to surge on Friday.
The worm is primarily impacting business, where it can spread quickly through a network to take down an entire company. Business take longer to install critical updates and patches, often to avoid impacting any legacy software they are running.
• First, install any software updates immediately and make it a regular habit. Turn on auto-updaters where available (Microsoft offers that option). Microsoft also recommends running its free anti-virus software for Windows.
• If you don't already have a backup routine, start now and regularly save copies of all your files. That way if your machine gets infected and your photos and documents are encrypted, you don't need to worry about losing them.
• Finally, always stay alert. Don't click on links that you don't recognize, or download files from people you don't know personally.