The Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, on Sunday alerted Nigerians to the emergence of another deadly cyber-attack, ‘Petya’ ransomware.
The attack, also known as ‘GoldenEye’, which is similar to the recent ‘WannaCry’ attack, not only encrypts files but also encrypts hard drives, rendering entire computer systems inaccessible.
A statement by Isa Pantami, Director General of the NITDA, said the attack has paralysed businesses across the world.
The NITDA boss also hinted that the attack is spreading quickly with reports indicating that countries affected so far include Ukraine, Denmark, Russia, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland and the USA.
According to Mr. Patanmi, the malware is spreading using a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that was patched in March 2017 — the same bug that was exploited by the WannaCry ransomware.
The agency noted that its technical team is working round the clock along with other stakeholders to come up with effective defence mechanism for the Nigerian cyberspace.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pantami called on network administrators in the public and private sectors as well as individuals to isolate any infected system from their network to prevent the threat from further spreading. He also advised network administrators not to use pen drive or external drives on the system to copy files to other systems.
“As a general precautionary measure and as the security of systems is our collective responsibility,” the NITDA explained further, “we would like to recommend that individuals and organisations should: regularly update their operating systems with the latest patches; regularly update their software applications with latest patches.”
He also urged system users to turnoff unnecessary/unneeded features; avoid downloading and opening unsolicited files and attachments; adjust security software to scan compressed or archived files; and avoid indiscriminate use of wireless connections, such as bluetooth or infrared ports.