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RansomwareCybersecurity matters. As I type, the world is facing another major ransomware attack. This has been dubbed NotPetya — because it’s like one called Petya, but not identical. As usual, it targets Windows machines. Still, a pos­sible “vaccine” has been found in the last hour. So this is just a very quick post to help pub­licise that ASAP.

The vaccine, from top security site BleepingComputer, involves cre­ating a read-only file in your C:\Windows dir­ectory. That’s easier said than done, as Windows pro­tects that folder. So the fol­lowing batch file can do it for you:


Alternatively, this post explains how to apply the fix manually. Huge thanks to WordFence for high­lighting this in their excellent post here.

Ransomware Updates

March 2018: Ransomware isn’t always in the news, but the threat hasn’t gone away. So check out another great post from PixelPrivacy for more ways to protect yourself from ransomware.

April 2019: So, almost two years on, is ransomware declining? Not really. As this year’s review of ransomware facts from SafetyDetective shows, small busi­nesses must still be vigilant. Ransomware attacks are espe­cially common in the retail and healthcare indus­tries. GDPR has also made investing in cyber­se­curity more vital than ever.

May 2019: As Cloudwards points out, malware can also infect local backups. So whilst local backups can be con­venient, they aren’t enough. It’s important to keep vital files backed up remotely using a cloud backup service, too.

Ignoring Cybersecurity Can Be Costly

It’s easy to under­es­timate the value of decent cyber­se­curity. After all, it’s invisible when it’s working. Still, com­pla­cency can easily cost small busi­nesses thousands.

When hackers hit web­sites, they don’t just want to lock them down, deface them or steal stuff. They use hacked sites to install malware and ransomware on vis­itors’ com­puters. You wouldn’t want to risk doing that to your cus­tomers, would you? Or for vis­itors with decent anti­virus systems to see warnings that your site was dangerous?

So avoiding that expense is a huge, if hidden, return on investment. Cybersecurity is one area of modern business in which pre­vention is far better than the cure. For SME’s with a website, that’s a good reason to use web hosting with an emphasis on security.