Philippine police warn public vs 'wannacry' ransomware

PNP warns public vs 'WannaCry' ransomware

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PNP warns public vs 'WannaCry' ransomware

Monday, May 15, 2017

CHINA. A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack, as captured by a computer user in Taiwan, is seen on laptop in Beijing, Saturday, May 13, 2017. (AP)

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday that it has not yet monitored any case of “WannaCry” ransomware, which paralyzed over 200,000 computers from over a hundred countries.

PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group (ACG) spokesperson Jay Guillermo said they are yet to receive reports that the “WannaCry” virus has affected computers in the country.

He said the virus is an online malware usually being acquired from an unknown e-mail or from downloaded files. It steals and encrypts files from a computer.

To be able to re-claim the affected files, the victim has to use a “bitcoin” currency to buy the decryption code from the syndicate where the malware came from.

The “WannaCry” ransomware began infecting thousands of computers on Friday in companies, hospitals, schools and grocery stores in Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.

The syndicate behind the malware is reportedly asking for $300 or P15,000 for every locked computer. The virus affected at least 200,000 units as of Sunday.

Guillermo said authorities might find it hard to trace the syndicate behind the malware.

"Mahirap mai-trace iyan kasi iyung sa bitcoin, may mga security codes po silang ginagamit d'yan. Medyo nahihirapan ang security agencies sa investigation ng bitcoin kasi hindi natin alam kung saan nanggagaling," he said.

Guillermo advised the public to be careful in downloading or opening files from suspicious websites or e-mail, as they might be carrying the infectious malware. (SunStar Philippines)

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