The Nigerian government has announced helplines to provide local assistance to address the cyberattacks underway called “WannaCrypt.”
Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) says the nation’s IT agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) will provide local assistance for the raging cyberattack.
“The management of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would like to bring to the attention of Nigerians the recent cyber-attack that is affecting computers across the world – the ransomeware attack. This attack, known as “WannaCry” or “WannaCrypt”, spreads by itself between computers and does not require human interaction. It restricts access to the affected system as well as demanding for the payment of ransom. This attack, according to reports, has so far affected over 99 countries and 100,000 machines”, the NITDA CEO said in a statement made available to Technology Times at the weekend.
NITDA says the CERRT unit can be reached for assistance via telephone on 0800-9988-7766-5544 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ransomware attack, which exploited vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows Operating System, especially those not currently, supported such as Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003, according to the IT agency. Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability in March and machines that were updated with the patch “would have been automatically protected.”
Furthermore, should your system be infected by ransomware, isolate the system from your network to prevent the threat from further spreading. In addition, NITDA advises that the following actions can be taken immediately:
- Remove the system from Network;
- Do not use flash/pen drive, external drives on the System to copy files to other systems;
- Format the System completely and get fresh OS copy installed; and
- Contact NITDA Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) for assistance. They can be reached via telephone on 0800-9988-7766-5544 or e-mail: email@example.com.
According to NITDA, as a general precautionary measure and as the security of systems is our collective responsibility, 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;
- Avoid downloading and opening unsolicited files and attachments;
- Adjust security software to scan compressed or archived files; and
- Avoid indiscriminate use wireless connections, such as Bluetooth or infrared ports.
“NITDA is working with critical stakeholders to come up with ways in which the Nigerian cyberspace can be adequately protected. We therefore call on all Nigerians to support the Agency by doing their best at protecting themselves as well as the information and systems under their care”, Pantami says.