‘WannaCry’ hits Malaysian businesses

KU Several Malaysian businesses have been affected by the “WanaCryptor 2.0” cyberattack on Friday, says Kaspersky Lab SEA. Its corporate communications manager, Sanjeev Nair, said Kaspersky was still investigating...

KU Several Malaysian businesses have been affected by the “WanaCryptor 2.0” cyberattack on Friday, says Kaspersky Lab SEA.

Its corporate communications manager, Sanjeev Nair, said Kaspersky was still investigating the cases and assisting in the recovery of the companies’ data.

“We cannot reveal the names of organisations that have sought our help,” he said.

“There have been a few local organisations that have been affected and we are assisting them with recovery.”

Sanjeev said ransomware attack was becoming popular among cybercriminals as it generates substantial profits.

“Cybercriminals that are profit-driven will often use this attack,” he said.

“Companies should back up precious data regularly and use a reliable security solution.”

On Saturday, the national cyber security specialist under the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, CyberSecurity Malaysia, released a statement warning users of the attack, also known as WannaCry.

“CyberSecurity Malaysia is monitoring the situation of the ransomware attack in Malaysia,” said its chief executive officer, Datuk Amirudin Abdul Wahab.

“We will take necessary action by providing technical assistance to the affected organisations and individual users on remediation and prevention through our Cyber999 service.”

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam also said on Saturday the ransomware would not have a major impact on the country.

“We still do not have a national intergrated health database system, only separate ones,” he said.

“Every hospital in the country has its own system. Even if affected by a cyberattack, only the particular hospital will be affected.”

Ransomware is a software used by malicious parties to obtain information from a user’s device.

Information will be encypted and locked and will only be released when a ransom is paid through the digital currency, bitcoin.

More than 150 countries have been affected by WannaCry with nearly 200,000 cases reported.

Microsoft had released a security update addressing vulnerabilities in Windows on March 14. However those who had not downloaded the security update were susceptible to attacks.

Microsoft urged organisations yet to download the update to do immediately.

The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, Volume 21, said Asia Pacific countries are the most vulnerable to malware threats.

Malaysia is placed 11th (with No. 1 as the most vulnerable), with a 27.6 per cent malware reported rate, higher than the worldwide average of 20.8 per cent.

Singapore is ranked 14th on the list, and Indonesia and Thailand fourth and eighth, respectively.

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