Communications Authority on alert as cyber attack sweeps the globe


Communications Authority on alert as cyber attack sweeps the globe
A man types on a computer keyboard. REUTERS

A cyber attack hit major companies across the globe with Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) on high alert over the spread of the same to Kenya.

The attack is said to be targeting computers using the Microsoft operating system, holding users files and data at ransom for money.

The industry regulator said on Wednesday the ransomware virus goes by the name Petya and has further discouraged users affected by the same from paying any money to access their files.

“The ransomware virus is similar to the WannaCry ransom ware virus that massively attacked computers across the world in May this year,” CA said in a statement.

The Communications Authority has urged computer users to avoid clicking on links or opening attachments or emails from people or sources not known to them while also updating their operating systems to avoid such attacks.

“Ensure that you keep an up-to-date back up of your important computer files offline. This will ensure that in the event your computer is attacked, you can restore your files from the backup,” the regulator added.

The authority, through the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre said it’s monitoring the situation and will continuously alert the public of any changes.

The ransomware virus crippled computers running Microsoft’s Windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files, then demanded $300 (Sh31,000) in bitcoin payments to restore access.

More than 30 victims paid into the bitcoin account associated with the attack, according to a public ledger of transactions listed on blockchain.info.

Microsoft said the virus could spread through a flaw that was patched in a security update in March.

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