ISLAMABAD – The WannaCrypt ransomware that baffled I.T experts worldwide has now hit Pakistan as an alert has been issued in one of the state-owned insurance firms in Pakistan.
The “ransomware” cyber attack that affected about 300,000 machines in 150 countries has finally made its way to Pakistan’s State Life Insurance office where notices have been displayed confirming the cyber attack.
According to ARY News, the staff at the organisation has been advised not to tun on the computers without enlisting the help of technical experts in a bid to avoid probable meltdown.
There have been reports of infections in the UK, US, China, Russia, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Taiwan and others but Pakistan was initially not on the list.
The outbreak of the virus, dubbed WannaCry, began last Friday. According to some cybersecurity experts, it is based on an NSA-developed tool that was leaked to the public by a group called Shadow Brokers. The virus, which is ravaging computer networks worldwide, encrypts user files and demands a ransom in cryptocurrency Bitcoin to release them.
Microsoft, which has criticised the American spy agency for its alleged role in creating the situation, released a patch for its no longer supported Windows XP operating system to prevent computers still running it from being infected.The tech company patched a vulnerability in its newer supported software last month after the leak was made public, but operating systems that were not updated are still vulnerable.
Some security researchers have pointed out that the infections seem to be deployed via a worm – a program that spreads by itself between computers.