Warning against new malware

Muscat, Sept 25 – Computer users in the Sultanate have been warned against the attack from a new deadly malware which is affecting systems all over the world. According to Information Technology Authority (ITA), a threat in the form of an email has been noticed from a malicious virus called Locky.
“All government and private sector enterprises should take necessary measures to prevent damage from the malware,” the ITA said in a statement.
The virus gets into the systems in the form of an email containing an attached file (z, vbs/7). Once the file is downloaded, the virus affects the computer system and encrypts the files. “The authority is monitoring the situation. There have not been reports of any attack so far,” said the statement.
Still users should adopt all the ITA recommendations, guidelines and security procedures issued to safeguard your system against the possible attacks, said the regulator.
Experts advised that users follow instructions given by the authorities as part of the precautionary measures.
“Apart from properly updating anti-virus software on their computers, users should also not open strange links and files,” said Mahmood al Zadjali, manager, quality assurance at Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA).
According to ITA, Locky is considered one of the most destructive ransomware-type infections that occupy an operating system and initiate data encryption on it.
“It encrypts files and then asks for a ransom for decryption and file retrieval. At this time, there is no tool to decrypt Locky or any other solution. Users are advised not to pay the ransom if the device is exposed to the virus,” the statement urged.
The regulator urged all entities to email ocert999@ita.om or call hotline number 24166828 if their systems are affected by the malware.
In May last, an unprecedented wave of cyberattacks struck targets in several parts of the world, hitting a whole range of organisations and businesses.

Samuel Kutty