The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has declared Nigeria free from the “WannaCry” ransom ware attack. The Agency however called for sustained security from stakeholders to forestall future attacks.
The Director-General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ibrahim said this recently in a statement issued by Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Cooperate Affairs and External Relations in Abuja.
Newsmen report that on May 12, the WannaCry began affecting computers worldwide, with evidence pointing to an initial infection in Asia at 7:44am UTC.
The WannaCry ransomware attack is an ongoing worldwide cyber attack which targets computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It has affected systems of more than 200,000 individuals, more than 150 countries across the globe including Europe, America and Russia.
Dr Ibrahim, however, said that Nigeria was spared following sensitization from relevant stakeholders.
“The management of NITDA would like to bring to the attention of Nigerians that the recent WannaCry or WannaCrypt ransomware attack has been contained.
“Nigeria was largely spared from the attack due to the massive enlightenment campaign, awareness and proactive measures put in place to swiftly deal with any reported incident.
“The efforts of all stakeholders in the Information Technology industry are highly commendable and appreciated.
“The attack which was considered to be one of the biggest cyber security attacks in recent history showed traces that Nigeria appeared to be isolated, as no major incident is reported in the country.
“We, therefore, call on all citizens, especially critical stakeholders in the IT industry, to support NITDA in this onerous task by always following best practices.
“They should be proactive in the way information and systems are handled as these will help in minimising risks of attacks as well as possible loss of vital information,” he said.
The DG said that IT had become the integral part of Nigerians which required vigilance to ensure maximum protection. He called on users of outdated operating systems to upgrade to Windows 10 and obtain the latest protection patch, MS17-010 released by Microsoft.
He added that Windows Defender Antivirus should be enabled on systems so to detect Ransomeware and similar attacks.
For systems that had already been affected by the attack, the DG gave some word of hope saying:
“For systems that have been attacked, tools have been developed to unlock the files locked by this ransomware. “The WannaDecrpyt or Wannakey can be used to unlock the file; they have been found to have successfully decrypted systems infected with the ransomware,” he said.