Rwanda Gears up Against Cyber Attacks

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The massive cyber-attacks around the globe last week has been a wake-up call for Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) concerned with cyber security.

RISA today pledged stronger cooperation with the public in enhancing cyber security for all computers in Rwanda. This comes after the alert over an outbreak of a security attack that has affected over 150 countries.

The cyber security attack is known as ransomeware, bearing different variations like WannaCrypt, WannaCry, WannaCryptor or Wcrya. It is also important to bring to your attention that the cyber-attack mostly affects computers that run Microsoft Operating Systems, by automatically encrypting the files and blocking the user‘s access to the entire system.

An unprecedented global “ransomware” attack that hit at over 100,000 organizations in 150 countries.

The attack that began Friday is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded in history.

Over the last decade Rwanda’s strong growth through ICT promotion has brought untold opportunities and prosperity in the country. And as we globally face this challenge in cyber security, as a country we strongly believe that an integrated strategy to ensure effective regulation to our cyber security is significant at this point.

Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) has therefore aligned a set of actions to ensure lasting national prevention and protection as specified below:

A statement from RISA advised computer users are required to maintain daily backups of critical data including application, databases, mails systems, and user’s files. Backups should be regularly tested for data restoration.

It also states that all computers should be installed with latest security updates (specifically including MS17-010. Patch)

Until the security patch is applied, the Server Message Block v1 (SMB v1) should be disabled on all computers. (Refer to the following link: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2696547/how-to-enable-and-distable-smbv1-smbv2,-andsmbv3-in-windows-vista,-windows-server-2008,-windows-7,-windows-server-2008-r2,windows-8,-and-windows-server-2012)

“All computers should be upgraded to Windows 10 to benefit from the latest protection from Microsoft. The Windows Defender Antivirus, which can detect the above malware, should also be enabled on all Windows systems” the statement noted.

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