The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has warned of the emergence of a lethal ransomware virus that is spreading at an alarming speed and wrecking havoc to computer users globally.

Through the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Co-ordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC), the Authority received reports of the encryption based cyber attack in form of ransomware that goes by the various names; Wannacry, Wannacrypt0r and WannaDecrypt0r that specifically targets Windows based computers.

‘‘The ransomware virus has been reported to have infected tens of thousands of computers across the world and continues to spread,’’ said the Authority in a statement.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to the computer until a ransom has been paid. Once a computer has been infected with the virus, it tries to infect other computers within the network and denies users access to information until they pay ransom. The Authority has warned the public against temptations to yield to those demands.

‘‘Individuals and organizations are discouraged from paying the ransom, as this does not guarantee that access will be restored,’’ warned the Authority.

To stay safe, the Authority advises computer users to observe a number of precautions including ensuring they have an up-to-date back up of their files offline to ensure the information can be easily restored in the event of an attack.

Users of machines, specifically those running on Windows Operating System, should ensure the software is regularly updated and only use up-to-date anti viruses. They should also desist from opening attachments from suspicious sources.

‘‘Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments or emails from people or sources you don’t know or companies you don’t do business with,’’ warned the CA.

 

For emails containing links or attachments, users are particularly warned to watch out for sources that instruct them to enable macros to view content, in which case, if in doubt, they should delete the email immediately.

 

The National KE-CIRT/CC is Kenya’s national cyber crime management trusted point of contact. Cyber crime incidents can be reported through: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or website www.ke-cirt.go.ke. Kenyans can also report or seek advice on cyber security through dedicated hotlines +254703042700 and +254730170700.

 

 

You can read the full statement here.