Beware of the Recent Cyberattack and Protect Your Photo Archive

Beware of the Recent Cyberattack and Protect Your Photo Archive

Yesterday a cyber attack hit corporations, governments, organizations, and home users as well, and according to the press, it keeps spreading around the globe. This cyber attack is a ransomware called  "WanaCrypt0r 2.0" and it encrypts the data on Windows-based computers. This is quite terrifying for photographers too, as there is still a risk for those who work on Windows PCs and keep their photo archive on PC-mounted hard drives.

This ransomware attack only attacks Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8-based computers, however, Microsoft also released an update for Windows 10 yesterday and reported that they have been still working on the issue for all releases.

If you're infected by this virus, you'll be asked to pay a fee in bitcoin to recover your files, and considering the hassle and stress, it is better to get protected before. While there isn't a current solution for preventing this virus, Microsoft has been updating the released patches, and experts warn users to beware of malicious websites and emails. Unfortunately, I don't think that any anti-virus software is capable of providing on-time protection for cyber attacks this big. In my opinion, the best way to protect your photo or video archive is creating multiple backups and if possible and using cloud backup services for unused photos and system recovery.

For in-depth information about a four-step backup, check out Dylan Goldby's article, and don't forget to share your tips against cyber attacks in the comments section below.

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10 Comments

Lafayette Britto's picture

Reason 10000 why you should always own a mac :)

Bill Peppas's picture

Always a Mac fanboy to jump to conclusions.
Other ransomware are working perfectly on Mac OS too... So... smartass attempt failed.

What you should say is... protect yourself, update, careful what you visit and open in your mailbox, and perhaps keep your workstation a separate machine than your everyday PC/Mac.

You mean to tell us you don't have a totally separate WORK computer for your images? One that never, ever goes online? One you do regular backups from on separate storage Hard Drives and Gold CD's? Seems silly and even stupid to trust your work to any machine that goes online.

Burak Erzincanli's picture

Hey Brigham, thanks for your comment,
I have my own backup system and different workstations specialized for my workflow,
however, not all of our readers are pros or they backup regularly to external systems

The idea of having a separate machine for imaging is a sound one and worth implementing if you can at all. However, even such machines will need to be connected to the internet from time to time, even if only for license verification and updates, so the best defence against compromising your machine is simply good old common sense. :)

jeff cohen's picture

images from a shoot (as well as my whole computer) backed up in the cloud (backblaze) and on 2 other external hard drives,time machine and carbon copy cloner. both drives kept in a safe at home

One a month photos from laptop moved to external drobo drive.
drobo backed up onto large external drive, drive kept in the safe

one a quarter drobo backed up onto external drive kept in a bank vault

Burak Erzincanli's picture

this is the best backup system I've ever heard! kudos Jeff!

jeff cohen's picture

ive always been taught that the best backup solution is to have 3 copies of your data stored in at least 2 different locations.

Michael Kormos's picture

One of the many reasons I don't miss Windows computers. It's bad enough I have to help my Dad format his Dell every six months because it just comes to a halt.

I understand that many Windows users are computer savvy, smart, and build and maintain their own machines, and know a lot about them, including how to detect and avoid malware such as this. Unfortunately, the other 99% of Windows users do not fall into this category.

Paulo Macedo's picture

To those blaming MS and sharing lies about OSX virus invulnerability.

This ransomware is a tool that smartasses at NSA let lose, yup it was stollen from them.
Microsoft, after realising this, promptly corrected windows to avoid this exploit.
Computers infected in companies are those that for some reason didn't receive the patch, launched months ago.

Now bear this in mind:
Apple phones go broke after receiving a simple sms.
Apple computers can be intruded by simply accessing faulty drivers/bios.

Bottom line, you don't trust, you don't open.
Like me, my backup "machine" is running nothing but Linux and synchronization is made by own developed software, connections encripted from one machine to another via LAN.

My entertainement machine, meaning the one i use for web, gamming and photoshop does not store any sensitive data besides social network passwords.

All files, important ones are stored on the Linux machine with 2TB (raid) of space and with supperb writing speeds due to a 10Gbit/s LAN connection.

Governament apps, like IRS here in Portugal are accessed only with Linux on a clean browser execution.

Passwords are at least 8 characters long, with numbers, case sensitive and with special chars.
Nowadays a mid range GPU can decrypt a password within 24h.

This might sound nuts, but as a security freak, this is how i save my stuff from the web.