This is to bring to your urgent attention a global cyber-attack that, as at this moment, has recorded over 75,000 victims and spread to 99 countries. The malware being spread is a Ransomware. For some of us who may not know what this is, this is a type of malware that, once executed, encrypts all your files and demands the payment of a ransom before they can be decrypted.
What we know so far.
The Ransomware has been dubbed WannaCry, aka WanaCryp0r, aka WCry. The malware is believed to be among a cache of powerful hacking tools stolen from the NSA sometime in August last year. The attack has spread across Europe, Asia, North and South America, and some parts of Africa (Northern and Southern Africa)
Currently, the most common mode of delivery is via email. As a result, WE IMPLORE EVERYONE TO AVOID OPENING ATTACHMENTS OR CLICKING ON LINKS IN SUSPICIOUS EMAILS, OR EMAILS FROM THOSE WHO THEY DO NOT KNOW OR AREN’T EXPECTING AN EMAIL FROM. USERS SHOULD ALSO AVOID SUSPICIOUS WEBSITES.
How it works
The malware exploits a known windows vulnerability, thereby bypassing traditional anti-virus protection and granting the malware full administrative rights over the victim’s computer. From this point, it starts to encrypt all the user’s files. Once it’s done, it locks the victim out of their computer and demands a ransom to be paid in Bitcoins.
How We Can Protect Ourselves
As mentioned earlier, be cautious about the email attachments you open or the sites you visit. As a rule of thumb you should not open attachments or click on links that are in emails from:
People you do not knowPeople you know, but aren’t expecting an attachment/link from. Call them to confirm etc.Emails that have a sense of urgency. eg. “click on this link to avoid losing access to your account…” etc.
We should be guided by common sense in this regard.