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June 30, 2017
“New computer virus spreads from Ukraine to disrupt world business” reads a June 28th headline in Reuters. The new Petya cyber virus has emerged suddenly and has already begun impacting businesses and individuals around the world. Some of the largest organizations hit include A.P. Moller-Maersk, one of the largest cargo and shipping operators and FedEx, which says its TNT Express division has been “significantly affected by the virus.”
Ransomware is a type of malicious software developed to stop access to computer system data until a financial payment is made. In the case of Petya, the sum is $300 in Bitcoin.
Once infected by Petya, the virus spreads rapidly using the EternalBlue vulnerability in Microsoft Windows or through two Windows administrative tools. The virus uses intelligence to try multiple entry points into the computer consecutively until gaining access. While Microsoft has released patches for these vulnerabilities, many Microsoft OS users have yet to install them. Once infected, the virus encrypts documents and files, some of which may be important to the victim. The virus then asks for a digital key, which is only available by paying the ransom.
WPS Office users have faced this threat before and have emerged victorious in the fight against ransomware. This is because WPS Office provides options for the retrieval of files lost to ransomware encryption. If a user’s computer comes under attack and finds that WPS Office files have become lost to encryption, they can simply access lost files in WPS Cloud – assuming they have been using the cloud-based storage service. In this case, files can be accessed in minutes.
WPS Office customers with files stored and encrypted on their PC also have a remedy. They can use the WPS DataRecovery Master tool to recover any office file on the impacted device. This includes WPS Writer, Presentation, Spreadsheet, and PDF files that have been encrypted by Petya. To use the free tool, WPS Office users may visit WPS DataRecovery Master at the following link: https://www.wps.com/data-recovery.
The software development team at WPS Office has been closely following the exploits of Petya and remain confident that WPS Office file data is retrievable in the event of an attack. However, additional preventative measures can be taken to deepen one’s layers of defense. These include:
Backing up all important folders and files to a secondary location or device (off of the network) so that a second recent copy is available immediately after an attack has occurred.
Ensuring that the Windows Update is run on a regular (automated) basis so that all new patches are installed as soon as possible.
Confirming that all user computers have anti-virus software installed and that the anti-virus software is updated daily.
Setting one’s anti-virus software to scan automatically, making it more difficult for Petya and other viruses to infiltrate and spread.
With the recovery options provided by WPS Office and the tips provided above, computer users can rest assured that their most important files and data will remain accessible and unaffected by the activities of Petya and other computer viruses on the horizon.
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