CYBER CRIME: CPN Advises on global Ransomeware cyber-attack known as “Wannacry”

Computer Professionals (Registration Council of) Nigeria (CPN) is the apex regulatory body of Information Technology (IT) education and practice in Nigeria, established by Act No 49 of 1993. CPN is therefore charged with the responsibility for the control and supervision of the computing profession and IT practice in Nigeria.

CPN wishes to alert and advice all IT users and practitioners on the recent Ransomware currently attacking computers and smart devices around the world since Friday, 12th May 2017.

Ransomware is a malicious program that locks a computer’s files until a ransom is paid. Ransomeware is not new in Cyber Crime but the size of this “Wanna Cry” malware is unprecedented

The Malware / Virus is known as WannaCry/WannaCrypt’’.

As at date over 200 countries have been affected  and is still rising with over 200,000 attacks or victims on high profile targets in countries like USA, UK, Spain, Germany,Russia, India amongst others. This attacks and figures is likely to grow as people switch on their computers.

What are the techniques of ‘’WannaCry’’ Ransomware attack?

 “ Wannacry” is a ransomware, an extremely heinous malware. Once it is activated on a computer or any Smart device it encrypts the files on that machine so they become inaccessible. There is also a code to delete files in the virus/malware. Unlike many other malicious programs/malware, this one has the ability to move around a network by itself.

Once “WannaCry” is inside an organization, it will hunt down vulnerable machines and infect them too. This is why the impact is so much –because large numbers of machines at each victim’s organization are being affected thereafter, it instructs the owner to pay a ransom to have their files unlocked.

The Ransom amount is between $300 to $600. Payment will be accepted in Bitcoin virtual currency only.

Is My Computer at Risk?

“WannaCry “only infects Machines running Windows OperatingSystems.

If you do not update Windows, and do not take care when openingand reading emails, then you could be at risk.

How Should you Protect yourself ?

These are not exhaustive.

– Keep and obtain up to date System Software Patches and updates to thwart these threats.

– Workstations running older version should have the Windows (XP and 8 specifically)  upgraded.

– Newer Workstations should have the Windows updates applied regularly.

– Use of firewalls

– Do not open emails with attachments from unknown sources.

– Do not click on pop-ups, applets links etc from unknown websites.

– Install effective antivirus software for your computers and mobile devices.

– Regular back up your data so you can restore files without having to pay any ransom should you be infected as there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will result in unlocking your files.   

          

 

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