Windhoek-FNB Namibia has cautioned the public about malware that has begun infecting computers worldwide since Friday last week.
“On 12 May 2017, a malware began infecting computers worldwide. This was believed to be through a well-crafted phishing email or vulnerability within the network defences. More than 150 countries were attacked of which the UK National Health Service, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, Portugal Telecom, Deutsche Bahn, Renault, PetroChina are but a few organisations attacked so far. It is important to note that the spread of this malware continues,” said FNB’s IT risk manager, Holger Bossow.
Bossow added that the malware “WannaCry” was a ransomware by nature. “It executes itself on your computer and encrypts your entire hard drive, meaning all your information will be inaccessible to you. It will then display a ransomware page, informing you to pay an amount of USD300.00 as way of a ransom to unencrypt your hard drive. This specific malware spreads via emails and via vulnerabilities within the network. Once it has manifested itself within an organisation or company, it will exploit the vulnerability within the operating system to spread across an internal network.”
“Although the first round of the WannaCry attack seems to have passed, the chances are the creator, or some other hacker, will repurpose the malware and send it back onto the web again. We wish to emphasise and caution our customers and the public at large not to open any suspicious looking mails and not to click on any links within suspicious looking mails. If you suspect your system is infected, immediately disconnect it from your network and shut it down and report the incident to your IT department or IT company immediately,” said Bossow.
The bank urges everyone to remain vigilant at all times – and to immediately delete any suspicious emails, even mails from people you do not know. “We also encourage everyone to be extra attentive even when surfing the internet,” Bossow advised.