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Cyber security expert: WannaCry ransomware has surfaced in Malaysia


PETALING JAYA: The WannaCry ransomware affecting IT users around the world has surfaced in Malaysia, said LGMS founder C.F. Fong

The cyber security expert said that a director of one of his client companies discovered the ransomware on his personal laptop on Saturday morning.

The malware that infected the laptop was the initial version of WannaCry, said Fong, whose company specialises in IT security services.

The laptop was subsequently formatted.

Fong said they would not be reporting the ransomware attack to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as they were not obligated to do so.

“The ransomware attacks occurred on Friday, so you’re not really going to hear about it until today. We expect to see more cases, but we are hoping that we won’t,” he said on Monday.

Fong said that if anyone had been affected by the ransomware, they should not connect their computer to any public network, especially at the office.

“Once you plug it into any network, it will start spreading. The best thing is to not connect to any network – even your home WiFi access point,” he said.

Fong added that any infected PCs should be disconnected immediately, and said that there is no way for Malaysia to escape such attacks.

He said that people should back up their data online as cloud servers are also vulnerable to attacks, adding that people should patch their Microsoft Windows operating systems immediately.

The ramsomware uses a vulnerability first revealed as part of a leaked stash of NSA-related documents.

It infects Windows PCs and encrypts their contents before a ransom is demanded to decrypt these files.

Fong added that his clients – which include major banks in Malaysia –  have not reported any attacks so far.

He added that organisations which practices regular operating system patching should be immune from WannaCry attacks.

Last Friday, more than 99 countries were hit by an outbreak of the WannnaCry malware.

The perpetrators said they would release the data once a ransom of US$300 (RM1,301) is paid, hence the name ransomware.

In just two days, computer networks of Britain’s National Health Service, Russia’s interior ministry and international shipper FedEx, among others, were affected.

A livemap tracking the spread of the ransomware shows that it has appeared in Malaysia.

A new variant of the ransomware called WanaCrypt0r 2.0 is also reported to have surfaced in cyberspace.

It was earlier reported that the MCMC said it had yet to receive any report of WannaCry attacks in the country as of noon on Monday.

The Star Online