It looks like trouble is not yet over for IT companies in South Africa. According to the reports, another ransomware named Petya has hit the South African shores. This is the latest version of a highly powerful ransomware that has the ability to create a lot of damage.
Pieter Erasmus, who works as an IT security strategist in association with Moyo Business Advisory said that the first instance of the ransomware attack took place in Kiev, Ukraine, and from there it has rapidly spread across other places in the world.
It has been reported that this Petya attack has used the same strategy and the same tool that was used in the month of May. Again, this ransomware has given sleepless nights to many as it disrupted the day to day activities at government offices, hospitals and several other multinational companies along with the casualties associated with the ransomware payload.
The purpose and style of this attack is almost the same as we have experienced a month ago. Similar to the previous one, this ransomware attack also asks for a digital key that is known to allegedly restore back the encrypted data. Recently, there have been multiple reports regarding the outbreaks of this ransomware in Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. Some cases have also been identified in cities of Europe.
In South Africa too several local companies has reported that their data has been encrypted by the Petyaransomware.
What to do to protect your data?
Your data is important and you need to protect is against harm in any circumstances. According to Erasmus, the best type of protection that can be provided in case of any form of malware is alertness.
Erasmus said that the one and most important thing people can do to ensure that their computers are safe, is update their Windows with the latest security software or the recent upgrades by Microsoft. You need to upgrade every system within the network with the latest security patches offered by Microsoft.
After you have strengthened your security system, half of the battle is won. Next you need to make sure that you do not open any emails from unknown or suspecting sources. Remember to never click on a unknown link contained within an email.
While surfing the internet, use a bit of caution and avoid the websites that look suspicious, especially the ones that deal with pirate movies and music.
Malware attacks have been a constant and ongoing problem for years. Erasmus said that as long as there are hackers willing to compromise other people’s security for their benefit, it will be relatively simple to keep continuing with future malware attacks. In some cases, the computers might undergo such an in-depth damage that it would be almost impossible to restore them.
If you take into account the instances reported in South Africa alone (considering that many are not reported at all), the commonly quoted figure is about two to three billion rand every year.