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Protecting Against WannaCry

This news item expired June 17, 2017. It may contain out-of-date information.

The ransomware WannaCry was discovered on 12 May 2017 and has affected users in over 150 countries across the globe. WannaCry exploits a Windows vulnerability and encrypts a victim’s documents, images, music, and other files, then holds them for ransom.

The patch to protect against WannaCry was released by Microsoft in March 2017. For your protection, if you have not already installed this patch, do so today and automate Windows Updates on your machine.

To automate Windows Updates, select the Windows button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, then select Control Panel. Next, select System and Security. Under Windows Update, select Turn Automatic Updating On or Off and make sure updates are set to be installed automatically.

Once automatic updates are enabled, be sure to go back to System and Security and select Check for Updates under Windows Update. Be sure to install any pending updates.

Microsoft has also released patches for the out of support operating systems Windows XP and Windows 8. These patches are available for download directly from Microsoft for deployment:

If you have questions, please leverage the IT Success Community at or contact the Solution Center at (515) 294-4000 or

Automating Windows Updates will help make sure you are protected against WannaCry, and will also better protect you against future exploits for vulnerabilities that have yet to be discovered. Security updates are extremely important, so be sure to install them as soon as possible regardless of the device or operating system.

Stay safe, Cyclones.