Ransomware WannaCry affects Bangladesh Now

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The risk of falling prey to the rogue software is high because majority of individuals and companies in Bangladesh use pirated softwares, security experts say.

Virus WannaCry spread across more than a 100 countries, shutting down systems of hospitals, schools and telecom service providers on Friday.

“We got reports of the malware affecting the personal computers of 30 individuals and office employees and we have fixed them,” said Tanvir Hassan Zoha, adviser at Crime Research and Analysis Foundation, a non-profit providing cyber security.

“The virus has been affecting computers with windows operating systems but it can also shut down cell phones and tablets,” he said.

The CRAF adviser offered free solutions to users hit by the virus.

Five companies have so far complained about being hit by the malware, said Officextracts CEO Prabir Sarkar, whose firm distributes Kaspersly Lab in Bangladesh and Bhutan.

“Some personal computers have been affected but I don’t know how many,” said Sumon Ahmed, chief strategy officer of [email protected], an Internet Gateway firm.

The malware usually spreads though inauthentic news links, porn sites and inauthentic emails, said Zoha.

“Your computer will auto restart if it is infected by ransomware. The virus encrypts all files of the hard drive,” he said when asked about the signs of the virus.

“In case the computer is infected, personally no one can access it without paying the ransom or encryption key which is 300-400 ‘bitcoins’, a form of digital currency, worth USD 400-500.”

Prevention

Zoha suggests the following preventative measures.

>> Do not open unknown email accounts

>> Do not use pirated software

>> Do not download fake software

>> Do not download app from anywhere other than Google Play

Officextracts CEO Prabir Sarkar suggests using updated windows and security software, keeping backup of all information and files, and avoiding opening unknown emails, attachments and files.

What lies ahead?

Reports of ransomware have been making headlines in different countries since Friday.

Prabir anticipates two major attacks in Bangladesh.

“It will become impossible if the virus attacks here as most of us use pirated operating system and software.”

“The damage cannot be measured through number of affected computers. Many institutions will go bankrupt, I fear,” said Prabir.

What is ransomware?

It is a kind of malware that impedes activities of a computer user after logging in. Sometimes it encrypts information from hard drive by using a specific password.

It demands ransom from the user within a particular timeframe.

Like computer worm or Trojan virus, it can spread from one computer to another

One hacker, Joseph Pope, created the ransomware in 1989 which became known as AIDS or PC Cyborg.

Reports of hackers using the virus to realise ransom from users flashed across international media in 2013.

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