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Computer Users In The UAE, You Need To Step Up Your Cyber Security Game, As Another Global Cyber Attack Hits

 

No computers in the UAE have been affected by the new ransomware cyber attack yet, that spread from Ukraine and Russia through Europe to the US, according to the country’s telecommunications regulator.

Thousands of computer users across the globe scrambled to reboot on Wednesday after the virus struck. But the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) claimed that there haven’t been any attacks reported in the country.

TRA advised computer users to be aware of the updated version of the ransomware, known as “Petya”.

TRA said computer users in the UAE should avoid opening links and files from an unknown source, should use anti-virus programmes, regularly update software and avoid surfing untrusted websites.

Petya appeared similar to the WannaCry ransomware that swept the world last month, hitting more than 200,000 users in more than 150 countries.

But the new attack appeared much smaller in scale, with global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab estimating the number of victims at 2,000.

There were no immediate indication of who was responsible.

The attack disrupted computers at Russia’s biggest oil company, Ukrainian banks and multinational firms.

The rapidly spreading cyber extortion campaign, which began on Tuesday, underscored growing concerns that businesses have failed to secure their networks from hackers who have shown they are capable of crippling corporate and government networks.

Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region reported some disruptions on Wednesday with the operations of several European companies hit.

The virus crippled computers running Microsoft Corp’s Windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files, then demanded $300 in bitcoin payments to restore access.

More than 30 victims paid into the bitcoin account associated with the attack, according to a public ledger of transactions listed on blockchain.info.

Microsoft said the virus could spread through a flaw that was patched in a security update in March.

In Australia, a Cadbury chocolate factory was hit. Production at the Hobart factory on the island state of Tasmania ground to a halt late on Tuesday after computer systems went down.

In India, operations at one of the three terminals of Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai were disrupted.

Kaspersky Lab told Reuters it had detected attacks in other Asia-Pacific countries but did not provide details.

Globally, Russia and Ukraine were most affected by the thousands of attacks, according to Kaspersky Lab, with other victims spread across countries including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the United States.

Following last month’s attack, governments, security firms and industrial groups aggressively advised businesses and consumers to make sure all their computers were updated with Microsoft patches to defend against the threat.

 

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