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Nairobi records 8 attempted cyber attacks as firm advocates for reporting

By Standard Reporter | Updated Wed, May 17th 2017 at 15:03 GMT +3

NAIROBI, KENYA: Eight attempted attacks related to the  WannaCryptor computer Ransomware were recorded in Kenya between May 14 to 16, by Internet Security company  ESET East Africa.

In Africa, worst hit country was Egypt which recorded 1,592 attempts followed by South Africa at 386 and Nigeria at 42 attempts out of the 15 countries that registered attack attempts.

During that period a ransom ware virus, which goes by the name Winery or WannaCrypt0r or WanaDecrypt0r, has been reported to have infected tens of thousands in many countries around the world.

Most at risk are those using computers running on old Windows operating systems especially Windows XP. Microsoft however has said it would roll out the update to users of older operating systems.

In an interview, Internet security company ESET East Africa said legislation to compel organisations to share or release information to a supervirosy authority, affected individuals or organisations in case of cybersecurity breaches would help fight computer related threats.

According to Teddy Njoroge, ESET Country Manager in charge of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, this would help responsible branches of government, businesses as well as Cybersecurity services vendors to keep ahead of cyber-criminals.

“Due to the siloed and secretive manner in which breaches are reported in Kenya, another attack similar to ‘WannaCryptor’ ransomware could be devastating if directed to critical institutions such as health, government and especially the financial services sector”, He said.

Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MoICT) has challenged the financial services sector in Kenya to improve information sharing and reporting on Cyber-security breaches.

“Breach notification eliminates the clandestine attempts by hackers to attack systems and enables synergised efforts towards the prevention of the criminal activity as well as their prosecution”, he said.

Speaking at the Cyber-Security & Banking Forum organized by Citibank and the ICT Authority, the CS said standardized reporting would also help in quantifying the exposure and resilience of organizations both in public and private sector to cyber security incidents.

The encrypting - type malware also known as ‘WannaCry‘  or ‘Wcrypt’ that hit the world on Friday May 14, 2017, spread rapidly around the globe by exploiting a vulnerability in computers running unpatched versions of Microsoft’s Windows Operating System.

Njoroge added that a standardized and shared reporting system would be a welcome move in developing a unified preventive or counteractive measure to hamper the growth of malware and other forms of cybercrime in the country.