The Star: Report ransomware to us, says CyberSecurity Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) has urged those affected by ransomware attacks to report the incidents to them.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab (pic) said this would help CSM conduct technical analyses and verify what ransomware was involved.

He said they could give advice and even try to recover data that was lost if they had the particular ransomware’s decryption key.

“There is no charge for our technical advice. You’re helping yourself and others, ” he said at a press conference here on Wednesday to address the WannaCry ransomware issue.

He gave the assurance that the identities of those who reported to CSM would be kept confidential.

Under Malaysian law, there is no obligation for anyone to report incidences of malware or ransomware to the authorities.

CSM, an agency under the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, said that as of Wednesday, it had received two official reports of infections, one from an academic institution and another from a private organisation.

CSM did not give out any other details about these cases.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau urged people not to panic or be unnecessarily alarmed, but said they should be careful.

IT security firm LGMS told The Star Online that it knows of 16 WannaCry cases in Malaysia so far.

The WannaCry ransomware, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries, encrypts the data on a victim’s computer or network, preventing users from accessing it.

The perpetrators promise to release the data if they are paid US$300 (RM1,300) in Bitcoin cyber-currency by each victim.

The WannaCry attack began last Friday and among those hit were Britain’s National Health Service, Russia’s interior ministry and international shipper FedEx.

According to a report in The Guardian, the ransomware uses a vulnerability first revealed as part of a leaked stash of NSA-related documents, which infects machines running Windows and encrypts their contents before demanding a ransom to decrypt these files.

A website that tracks WannaCry infections has been showing blips in Malaysia every now and then.

The website displays a blip whenever an infected computer pings its tracking servers, allowing it to map out a geographical distribution of the WannaCry infection.

The website was created by a 22-year-old British researcher known only as “MalwareTech”, who was credited with discovering a “kill switch” that halted the outbreak.



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