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As of June 27th, 2017 a ransomware called Petya or NotPetya had started infecting organizations globally. The reason why this ransomware is causing more concern is the way it infects devices. WannaCry was a previous ransomware that infected thousands of devices across dozens of countries. WannaCry used exploits in the Windows Operating System released by the Shadow Brokers, a hacking group. The exploit was leaked from the National Security Agency (NSA). Experts are saying Petya is using the same exploits as WannaCry used to infect devices.
A Security researcher found a way to stop WannaCry prior to the United States started work, protecting many US organizations and individuals. Microsoft patched the vulnerability in the Windows operating system a month before WannaCry hit the Internet. Microsoft stated the preferred method of protection from the ransomware is to apply supplied patches. Petya also infected devices missing the supplied update. Businesses and local governments in the United Kingdom and Ukraine have already stated that Petya has infected their devices.
City of Portland Bureau of Technology Services assists in the process of updating City devices. However, your personal devices may be at risk if you haven’t updated them consistently. Information Security recommends applying patches as soon as vendors release them (often monthly) and to only use Operating Systems that are supported by the vendor. The affected organizations above had not patched, or were running on outdated software. Update as often as possible.