Topic: Technology

InternetNZ warns users to be vigilant following ransomware scare

updated By Tepara Koti

Thousands of computers in 150 countries were infected over the weekend by malicious "ransomware" called WannaCry.  InternetNZ warns users to be vigilant as the malware may continue to spread, or even encourage copycat activity.

The massive international cyber attack attempted to hold private companies and public organisations to ransom by locking computer systems.  According to CERT NZ, the incident is reported to be the largest ransomware campaign to date.

The ransomware used is commonly called WannaCry.  It's also known as:

*  Wana Decrypt0r
*  WannaCryptor, and

CERT NZ Operations Manager Declan Ingram says, "CERT NZ has received a small number of unconfirmed reports of the Wannacry ransomware affecting New Zealanders.  These are being analysed on a case by case basis."

Today both CERT NZ and InternetNZ released some practical advice which may help all internet users prevent an infection from WannaCry, and other future issues.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter explains, “These days, we put so much of our personal information online and we should all take extra care to help protect our data and ourselves on the Internet."

“These are some basic steps that we encourage all Internet users to take to help better protect themselves from WannaCry and other risks,” says Carter.

Basic recommendations:

-  Take care when opening emails, clicking on links or attachments

-  Back-up your files, store at least one back-up file offline

-  Turn on automatic updates / Make sure you've patched your system

-  Ensure staff are aware of this campaign. Remind them to be vigilant about links and attachments contained in incoming emails

For the latest updates from CERT NZ on such cyber attacks, please visit their website here, and InternetNZ information here.