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26 February 2024

TRA warns users of ransom attacks


As thousands of institutions around the world have been subjected to a series of WannaCry ransom attacks over the past few hours, causing their data to be encrypted with a claim for payment, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) calls on users not to open links and files that they may receive from unknown sources, trying to deceive them to download it, and then penetrate their devices.

''So far we have not received any e-government services cases that are affected by the virus,''said the Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) in the TRA. It is a malicious program that affects smart phones and computers, encrypts and locks their data so that it can not be accessed until payment is made,'' it said about the virus.

TRA calls on the system administrators to increase the degree of readiness and continuous monitoring of the systems and to inform the authority in case their devices got exposed to the virus.

Explaining how can the virus penetrate systems, the TRA said: The victim receives a message or link from an anonymous person, the content of the link is a file containing malicious software.

The sender tempts the victim to download the file by deceiving him that the message contains important or personal files. In turn, the user uploads the file to his or her smartphone.

The virus encrypts important data in the device or encrypts the entire device, so that the user can not access his data. The offender asks the victim for money / a "ransom" in exchange for the decoding of the data and returning it to its nature.'' To reduce risk of exposure to this virus, the TRA advises users to : - Make sure to back up your device data constantly, to recover it if you are infected with the virus.

- Avoid opening links from unknown sources, and do not upload files sent by anonymous people via e-mail.

- Use anti-virus software and make sure it's original, and update it constantly - Update the operating system of your phone and PC continuously, and be sure to update the software in it.

- Avoid access to suspicious sites - Be sure to download software and applications from their official sources and avoid pirated programs.

The TRA also advises those whose computer get infected with the virus to : Avoid obeying them, if you pay the amount required, they will continue to blackmail you and they'll ask for more money.

If the affected device is affiliated to your organisation, inform the IT department directly.

If the affected device is your personal computer, take it to the authorized dealer.

Stop operations on the device or network directly and restore the backup .