People Forced to Pay Hackers or Lose All Computer Files

DALLAS TOWNSHIP -- Imagine getting a message from hackers forcing you to fork over $300 or lose all of your computer files.

That's exactly what happened to hundreds of thousands of Microsoft users across the globe who fell victim to a cyber attack this week called WannaCry.

"I'd feel violated," Zeke Demartis said in Dallas Township. "You put trust in the systems to be able to contain things. Especially on The Cloud, which I don't really even know what it is, but I hope my pictures are there and they're safe!"

Experts said those who were attacked were not updating their Microsoft software and using older operating systems like Windows XP, which came out roughly 16 years ago.

"If you have updated your software properly, you have legitimate copies, and you've done the updates, which sometimes are annoying but it's something you have to do, then you're safe. You do not have to worry about that," Misericordia University Professor Joseph Broghamer said.

Another group that was attacked was using pirated Microsoft software. However, the company did patch the hack for all computers affected.

Experts said it was a fix that doesn't usually happen.

"If you have a legitimate copy of the Microsoft Operating System then they automatically do updates for you. It's part of the contract. If you have pirated the software, if you have an illegal copy of the software, they don't," Broghamer said.

Despite the fact that these update messages might come across as annoying, experts said it could save you your files and your cash.

"They put patches in for more security and I think that any harm that it would do could be less than the benefit that it will give me," Demartis said.

If all else fails, experts suggest using an external hard drive to keep all of your files safe.

Apple's Mac computers were not targeted in this hack.

2 comments

  • sc

    ( LINUX )
    most distros you can boot from BIOS and RUN from a USB flash drive and save docs to a second usb. Without having an OS on the computers Hard Drive.
    MICROSOFT, GOOGLE, CLOUD servers, Facebook, is like ( a pimp standing outside of a church selling life insurance )

  • Bill K

    Article is missing the easiest way to recover your files if you’re hit by ransomware. Just restore from backups. If your files are properly backed up you could lose them all tonight, restore them in the morning and it’s as if nothing happened. No need to pay anyone to get them back. Don’t know how? Google it. Don’t know how to Google it? Find a managed service provider. Don’t go to Best Buy as they’ll charge you three times what a managed service provider will. If your data is worth anything to you, back it up. All those valuable family photos on your desktop PC hard drive can be gone and non-recoverable if they’re not backed up.

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