‘No need for unnecessary alarm over WannaCry’

Wilfried-wannacryPUTRAJAYA: Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Wilfried Madius Tangau says Malaysians should not panic over news on WannaCry ransomware attacks in the country.

“After news broke on the WannaCry malware, we received different reactions from the general public, expressing their panic on the issue.

“It was not because they fell victim to the malicious software, but they were scared after reading reports in the media,” he said during a briefing at his office here.

Present were CyberSecurity Malaysia CEO Amirudin Abdul Wahad and Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) head of department Megat Muazzam Abdul Mutalib.

The minister said there was no need for Malaysians to be “unnecessarily alarmed”, adding that the situation in the country was under control.

“The government will make sure the country’s cyber space is safe,” Tangau said.

He also asked the public to stay alert when using electronic devices and the Internet.

Amirudin said as of Wednesday, his agency had received two reports on WannaCry attacks in the country.

“The second victim was a private institution,” he said, without revealing further details.

Yesterday, CyberSecurity said it had received the first complaint on WannaCry attacks from a private learning institute.

When asked about news quoting a security expert claiming that there had been 12 reports on WannaCry ransomware attacks, Amirudin said anyone who had been affected should come forward.

“We would like them to work with us and share their information on being attacked.

“That way, we can analyse your situation and use the details we have to help other victims.

“And we will not charge you a single sen,” he said.

WannaCry is a form of ransomware that locks up the files on computers and encrypts them in such a way that users cannot access them.

The programme encrypts computer files and demands payment in Bitcoin before returning access to users.

However, security experts warn there is no guarantee that access will be granted after payment.

Some ransomware up the stakes after a few days, demanding more money and threatening to delete files altogether.

Last Friday, more than 100 countries were hit by an outbreak of the WannaCry malware.

Security experts said they were not sure how many victims would pay the ransom, or if access to computers was being restored after such payments.