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”WannaCry“ Ransomeware: NCC issues protective measures

Abuja – The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured all operators and their subscribers of the security of national telecommunications network due to the recent outbreak of a Ransomware Virus known as “WannaCry”.

The commission gave the assurance on Wednesday in Abuja in a statement on its website.

It said that the Ransomware was capable of infecting and encrypting all files on a system or any smart device until an amount was paid for a decryption key.

“Or other means of retrieval (which may lead to data loss) are used to recover the system as an alternative.

“This situation demands that proactive measures be taken by all players in the telecommunication eco-system to forestall the hazards of critical data loss, financial losses and ultimately network/business disruption.’’

The commission advised operators and respective subscribers to obtain software patch released by Microsoft in March 2017 to fix the Ransomware Virus.

It also advised operators and respective subscribers to plan scheduled penetration tests on the networks and systems to ensure protection and availability at all times.

“Subscribers, who use their smartphones as substitutes to computers for internet access should protect themselves and their devices by not opening e-mail attachments or links from unknown sources.

“Not clicking pop-ups and applets on unknown websites and installing effective antivirus software for their mobile devices.

“Furthermore, the NCC has taken the following proactive measures in fulfilling its statutory mandate, “ it said.

The commission also advised Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to initiate regular assessment and audit of their cyber security readiness.

According to him, all operators should continue to ensure that their backup and disaster recovery strategies are in place and up to date.

“And also ensure continued deployment of effective firewalls, login passwords and antivirus management regime.’’

It further advised all operators to ensure continued deployment of effective firewalls, login passwords and antivirus management regime.

“The commission is working towards creating a link with the Cyber security Alert System on its website so that current information on global cyber threats and incidents can be immediately communicated to stakeholders.

“The commission will continue to provide more cyber security training for its staff,“ it added.

On the attack, it said that companies across the globe woke up to find they were under attack.

It said a virus known as “Wanna Cry” started infecting computers before the weekend, but many did not find out until they started trying to open files with the start of the work week.

“So far, more than 200,000 systems have been infected in over 150 countries around the world,“ it said.


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