‘Don’t panic over WannaCry ransomware cyber attack’

Jailani-Johari-WannaCry-ransomwareKANGAR: Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Jailani Johari has advised the public not to panic over the spread of information on the WannaCry ransomware cyber attack occurring worldwide.

He said the public should refer to the relevant authorities about the information and take precautions against the attack, such as installing anti-virus applications on their gadgets and not opening any suspicious links.

“Many people have asked me whether or not the automated teller machines (ATMs) will be shut down for two days due to the ransomware attack.

“What I can say is that the ministry has yet to receive any report from any individual or group who has fallen victim to the cyber attack.”

The deputy minister said this today in response to viral messages advising the public to withdraw their money immediately as the ATMs would be shut down. The messages also warned people against making online transactions to prevent them from falling victim to the cyber attack.

CyberSecurity Malaysia said it has only received one official report from an academic institution.

However, it added that there may be other unreported incidents related to the WannaCry ransomware global attack which began on May 12.

In a statement here this evening, CyberSecurity Malaysia CEO Amirudin Abdul Wahab urged all organisations to be alert and continue with the necessary action to protect and secure their network infrastructure from being affected.

CyberSecurity, the national cyber security agency under the science, technology and innovation ministry, also advised organisations to patch up their systems and keep their users aware of the ransomware attack in order to prevent them from clicking on suspicious emails.

Amirudin said the ransomware attack was not a new cyber threat as the agency had previously received reports related to Cryptolocker, Cryptowall, CBT Locker, Teslacrypt Locky and several types of ransomware.

“It is targeted at both individual users as well as businesses,” he said.

“This malicious software infects computers. It locks and encrypts files in the computer and prevents users’ access to the system until a ransom is paid to the creators to unlock the software.

“Among the impacts are the loss of valuable data, disruption of an organisation’s operation and reputation, and the high cost incurred in the recovery process.”

He also suggested that the public obtain the right information from official sources and verify information before sharing it on social media as there are many hoax messages related to ransomware WannaCry that have gone viral.

Amirudin assured that CyberSecurity is continuously and proactively monitoring the current situation.

It will take the necessary action by providing technical assistance to affected organisations and individual users on remediation and prevention through its Cyber999 service.

The public can report any type of ransomware by contacting the Cyber999 help service through its toll-free phone line (1-300-88-2999) or mobile (019-266 5850).

They can also email [email protected] or [email protected]