Wannacry Ransomware Cyberattack is one of the worst cyberattacks in the Internet history, having affected over 150 countries and high value institutions in Europe. Institutions that have already been affected by the attack include the National Health Service in Britain, Telefonica in Spain, and multinational companies such as FedEx and LATAM Airlines. Although by yesterday reports were indicating that the Wannacry Ransomware Cyberattack was yet to find footing in Kenya, latest reports indicate that the worm has already affected over 15 institutions in the country.
The institutions that are currently affected in Kenya have not been revealed, as these institutions would rather keep quiet than reveal their vulnerabilities to the public. The public should however be worried as probably those affected could be hospitals, banks, or even a popular airline. If for instance one of the big banks is affected, then there is a potential risk that customers’ deposits are not safe.
At the wake of the global wannacry ransomware cyberattack, the Communications Authority of Kenya issued a guideline on how Kenyans could safeguard themselves against the ransomware, as the attackers take control of the a PC or computer system, locks the user from accessing that PC, then demands a ransom to the tune of $300 (approximately Shs 30,000) to be paid to specified bitcoin addresses. The guideline by the CA are nothing but to ensure that files are backed up offline, never to download attachments from unknown sources, and not to click on links anyhow. Additionally, it is important to ensure that by today you have updated the antivirus you are using, and immediately after run a complete virus scan on your PC or network.
Those mostly affected by the ransomware are people still using Windows XP, an operating system that Microsoft stopped supporting in April 2014. At the wake of the wannacry attack on May 12 2017, Microsoft released an emergency patch the following day that you can access here.
It’s not just Windows XP that is at risk. Windows Server 2003, Windows 7, Windows Vistas and a few other non-supported windows have been mentioned as vulnerable to the largest cyberattack in history.
If by bad lack you are part of the over 200,000 individuals already affected, do not despair. You only need to do a system wipe and fresh re-install of all your softwares. What you need to avoid is paying the $300 ransom demanded by the hackers as there is no guarantee that after you have made the payment your system will be back to normal.