‘BE WARY OF CYBERATTACK’
Exercise caution when using emails and browsing websites due to ‘ransomware’ assault, warn experts
C. PREMANANTHINI KUALA LUMPUR firstname.lastname@example.org
MALAYSIANS have been urged to take precautionary measures following the global “ransomware” cyberattack that hit nearly 100 countries since Saturday. Cybersecurity experts yesterday advised Internet users to exercise caution when opening emails from unknown senders and when browsing unfamiliar websites.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Cyber Security Unit head Professor Dr Zarina Shukur, however, said Malaysia was currently “safe” from the cyberattack.
“Safe means no serious cases reported. Most agencies in the government sector have already implemented the Information Security Management Systems (ISMS).
“The disaster recovery plan is one of the elements in ISMS.
“However, we will see whether there are cases reported tomorrow (today),” she said yesterday.
Zarina also warned the public against downloading files or applications from unfamiliar websites.
She said Internet users and system administrators should report any suspicious activity to Cyber Security Malaysia or the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
The cyberattack, which began on Saturday, has spread malicious software around the world, shutting down networks at hospitals, banks and government agencies.
UKM Information Technology Centre deputy director Dr Mohd Rosmadi Mokhtar said although no cases were reported, Malaysia was still vulnerable to attacks.
“All users must update their antivirus software, ensure all hosts have enabled endpoint anti-malware and keep multiple backups (of important files) in their external hard drives or cloud storage.
“Also, do not click on unsolicited web links in emails,” he said yesterday.
On Saturday, Cyber Security Malaysia issued an alert after about 100 nations were hit by the ransomware attack.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that takes over a computer and prevents users from accessing data on the computer until a certain amount has been paid.
The software infects computers through links or attachments in malicious messages known as phishing emails. It is usually hidden within the links or attachments in emails.
When a user clicks on the links, his computer will be infected and the software takes over. It encrypts data using an encryption key, which only the hacker knows. A certain amount of ransom needs to be paid to ensure the data is not lost.
In most cases, ransoms of between US$300 (RM1,300) and US$500 are demanded, and sometimes the price can be doubled. Participants in National Skin Day and Costumed Charity parades showing off their outfits while completing the 3km trail. The event was organised by the dermatology units of Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) as well UiTM Medical Students Association, at Setia City Park, Shah Alam, yesterday.