" ITREALMS: NITDA counsels MDAs, others on Ransomware attacks

Thursday, May 18, 2017

NITDA counsels MDAs, others on Ransomware attacks

The leadership of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has counselled Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the country, on the recent cyber-attack that is affecting computers across the world known as ransomeware attack, reports ITRealms.

Director-General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, in a press statement personally signed in Abuja and made available to ITRealms, said this attack, known as “WannaCry” or “WannaCrypt”, spreads by itself between computers and does not require human interaction.

“It restricts access to the affected system as well as demanding for the payment of ransom. This attack, according to reports, has so far affected over 99 countries and 100,000 machines,” he said.

The ransomware attack, Pantami explained, exploits vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows Operating System, especially those not currently supported such as Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003. Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability in March and machines that were updated with the patch would have been automatically protected.

Further, he said, should your system be infected by ransomware, isolate the system from your network to prevent the threat from further spreading.

In addition, he outlined some actions that could be taken immediately to include removing the system from Network; do not use flash/pen drive, external drives on the System to copy files to other systems; Format the System completely and get fresh OS copy installed; and Contact NITDA Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) for assistance. They can be reached via telephone on +2348023275039 or e-mail: support@cerrt.ng.

He pointed out that as a general precautionary measure and as the security of systems is a collective responsibility, NITDA would like to recommend that individuals and organisations in the country, should regularly update their operating systems with the latest patches; regularly update their software applications with latest patches; avoid downloading and opening unsolicited files and attachments; adjust security software to scan compressed or archived files; and  avoid indiscriminate use wireless connections, such as Bluetooth or infrared ports.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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