The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has released a statement of advice for users following the Petya attack, which breached thousands of computers and servers around the world this week.
The Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) revealed that there has been no reported cases of breaches by this virus in the UAE.
The statement said, ”The breach disabled, encrypted, and locked users from accessing their computers without paying a sum of Bitcoin, and that’s when a group of hackers developed a new version of the ransomware “Petya” by exploiting the same gap in the operating system Windows, named ExternalBlue in the SMBv1 protocol. This virus restarts the victim’s device, encrypts the Master File Table, and exchanges the Master Boot Record with a series of malicious software instructions that shuts down the device.”
However, to avoid exposure to the virus, the TRA has advised individuals to follow these steps:
- Always keep a backup copy.
- Avoid opening links and files from an unknown source.
- Use the original anti-virus programmes.
- Update the software of your phone and computer constantly.
- Avoid surfing untrusted sites.
In case of exposure to the virus, the TRA has advised those affected to do the following:
- Do not obey the hackers, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will lead to the decryption of the files.
- If the attacked device is the company’s computer, inform the IT Department immediately.
- If the attacked device is your personal laptop, take it to the authorised agent.
- Don’t open any untrusted emails.
- Update the software of all your personal devices.
The statement added, “This virus changes its signature constantly, so we advise to follow the TRA social media channels or TRA website to get the latest updates.”