No major effect of cyber attack in Bangladesh

No disruptions were noticed in any government and private institutions, except five computers of a private television channel, in Bangladesh by the epidemic ‘ransomware’ dubbed WannaCry that was demanding money from the users by hacking files from computes across the globe in the past two days.

Global security firms — Avast and Kaspersky — already reported that 99 countries had so far been infected by the ransomware WannaCry and variants of that name around the world.

Although the firms also named Bangladesh among the countries affected by the malware, no major incidents were reported except a private satellite television station.

The incident was already identified as one of the worst cybercrime after Conficker, another notorious Windows worm, infected over nine million computers in nearly 200 countries in 2008.

Although the intensity of the virus is yet to be known as most of the private and public firms would try to hide such attacks.

As Friday and Saturday were the weekly holidays for almost all the government and private organisations, possibility of the epidemic malware infection was very low, said experts.
National Data Centre director Tareq Barkatullah told New Age, ‘The detected malware only can infect computers operated by Windows.’

‘As data centre is nun by the computers operated by Linux and UNIX, there is no possibility of any effect of such virus over the data centre,’ he added.

Asian Television joint news editor Faria Hossain said that at least five computers of the private television station had so far been infected by the ransomware that demanded money to save files and software of the computers.
‘I pointed out a notice popping in my computer screen so frequently at 8:30pm on Friday that was demanding money for saving my computer documents,’ she said.

‘As an antivirus was installed in my computer, I refrained from paying the money in the form of bitcoin,’ Faria added.

‘Informing the problem to the IT experts of my office, I left office Friday night,’ she said.

‘Although the computer has been partially fixed, I am yet to get access to the internal network of the television station and so happened to other five computers of the station as well,’ she added.

Fiber@Home chief technology officer Sumon Ahmed Sabir said that as the incident took place in weekly holidays in Bangladesh, its intensity was low.

He also said that many organisations would not report any such incident even if they were attacked for their reputation.

Keeping each and every softwares including the windows and antivirus updated could help in containing any such risk of cyber attack, Sumon said.

He also hoped that the effect of the malware would not last long because of easy solution to the malware infection.
WannaCry malware spotted on Friday tricked victims into opening malware attachments to spam emails that appeared to contain invoices, job offers, security warnings and other legitimate files.

The ransomware encrypted data on the computers, demanding payments of $300 to $600 to restore access. Security researchers said that they observed some victims paying via digital currency bitcoin.

A number of news agencies on Saturday reported that some hospitals, schools and universities in Asia were hit by the malware.

China’s official news agency Xinhua said that secondary schools and universities were hit, but did not say how many or what were their identities.

Sun Yat-sen University said that it received a large number of virus complaints on Friday, Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported on Saturday, citing a notice circulated by the university’s IT department.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said that one of Seoul’s university hospitals had been affected. An official said that it was not yet clear whether the hospital, which he declined to name, had been hit by the ransomware or some other malware

Source: New Age