Malaysia ups defence against WannaCry ransomware amid reports of attacks

Malaysia ups defence against WannaCry ransomware amid reports of attacks

Staff looking at ransomware
A photo taken on May 15, 2017 shows staff monitoring the spread of ransomware cyber-attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in Seoul. (Photo: AFP/Yonhap)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has stepped up checks via its national cyberdefence and security system in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware cyberattacks that hit the world last Friday, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak on Tuesday (May 16).

There have been media reports of several Malaysian businesses hit by the ransomware but so far only one official report has been received by CyberSecurity Malaysia, the national agency responsible for the management of cuber security incidents. 

It said an academic institution has been hit by WannaCry, without naming the institution. 

CyberSecurity Malaysia CEO Amirudin Abdul Wahab said in a statement that he believes there are more unreported cases.

“We would like to urge all organisations (system administrators) to be alert and continue with the necessary action to protect and secure their network infrastructure from being affected,” he said.

“Malaysians are still not aware of the existence of ransomware. Hence, they may not have sufficient information about its threat,” he warned.

The WannaCry ransomware prevents access to data in the computer that it attacks and puts up images on victims' screens demanding payment of US$300 in the virtual currency Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"

Payment is demanded within three days or the price is doubled, and if none is received within seven days the locked files will be deleted, according to the message.

Source: Bernama/ec