Ransomware Virus: Ministry Urges Vigilance

May 15, 2017 | 1 Comment

Following Friday’s large scale cyber-attack which infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries, the Ministry of National Security is “encouraging public vigilance”.

The Minister of National Security Jeff Baron said that the incident is “significant and serious enough” to warrant the oversight of the Emergency Measures Organisation [EMO].

Minister Baron said, “As we have seen this threat is real. Many people will have read about the computer virus called ‘WannaCry’ that is circulating internationally.

CNN video report on the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware:

“It is a ‘ransomware’ attack targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system. The EMO is paying close attention to the developments and we are advising residents – home users and small businesses – to take the following precautions:

“Please be actively suspicious of unsolicited emails with attachments and links. Below are some suggestions for identifying suspicious emails. In all cases immediately delete suspicious email:

  1. Email from someone you don’t know.
  2. Emails with links that take you to a website with which you have no affiliation.
  3. Emails that do not address you by your name.
  4. Email from someone you know but that don’t ‘sound’ like they wrote them.

“Also:

  • Run Windows Update and configure for auto-update for future patches.
  • Make sure your antivirus product is up to date and run a scan – if you don’t have one then install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor.
  • If you have not done so before, this is an appropriate time to think about backing important data up.
  • We recommend that you not store backups on the same computer, or any other device within your home network.
  • Home users should consider using cloud services to back up their important files.
  • Many service providers [for example, email providers] offer a small amount of cloud storage space for free.

Calling it the “biggest cyberattack the world has ever seen,” CNN reports the “attack is a virus that locks people out of their computer files until they pay a ransom to the hackers.”

“We will get a decryption tool eventually, but for the moment, it’s still a live threat and we’re still in disaster recovery mode,” Rob Wainwright, the head of the European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol said.

He added that the agency is still analyzing the virus and has yet to identify who is responsible for the attack.

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