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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

TRA issues advice to protect against latest ransomware Petya

There have been no reported cases in the UAE as yet.

ABU DHABI // The country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has issued advice for companies and users to protect themselves against the latest generation of ransomware, Petya.

One month after the virus WannaCry shut down hospitals, banks, transport systems and industry worldwide, Petya began striking companies in Ukraine on Tuesday, with criminals demanding US$300 in crypto-currency Bitcoin to release the data they had hacked.

By Wednesday, the virus began racking up a list of corporate victims worldwide including the world’s largest communications firm WPP, which has offices in the UAE.

The TRA Computer Emergency Response Team said there have been no reported cases of the Petya virus in the UAE.

“This virus restarts the victim’s device, encrypts the Master File Table, and exchanges the Master Boot Record with a series of malicious software instructions that shuts down the device,” the TRA said.

To avoid exposure to the virus the TRA advises individuals to always keep a backup copy of important files; to avoid opening links and files from an unknown source; to use original anti-virus programmes; to ensure the software on your phone and computer are constantly updated and avoid surfing untrusted sites.

In case of exposure to the virus, the TRA advises individuals not to pay the ransom as there is no guarantee that the files will be decrypted.

If the attacked device is a company computer inform the Information Technology Department immediately.

If the device is your personal laptop take it to the authorised agent.

The TRA recommends users not open any untrusted emails and to keep software updated on all devices.

To stay informed about ways to protect yourself against Petya, follow the TRA on Twitter or visit the website.​

newsdesk@thenational.ae