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Government raises alarm over new computer virus

By Dorcus Osongo | January 1st 2019

The Communications Authority of Kenya  has issued a computer virus alert [Courtesy]

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has warned the public and local institutions of a destructive malware targeting network systems called 'Emotet'.

According to CAK, The National Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre has already detected 11 cases in which the virus targeted local institutions and has been in touch with the institutions on the matter.

In a statement issued on Monday, CA Director General Tom Olwero said the malware, Emotet, is an advanced and destructive banking Trojan affecting network systems. 

"It can evade typical signature-based detection and has several methods for maintaining persistence, including auto-start registry keys and services," said the General Olwero.

Olwero added that the malware is spread through links or email attachments. These may come in the form of bank account alerts, payment notifications and invoices.

The malware poses a great risk as it can result in temporary or permanent loss of sensitive information and files which can generally harm the reputation of an organisation.

The CAK urged the public and organisations to be on the lookout for the malware.

Olwero has asked organisations that suspect their machines to have been infected with the malware to scan and isolate infected computers from their network. They should then clean and repair their system.

Institutions are also urged to install protective software to combat malware and to stick to the best practices in cybersecurity.

On December 19, 2018 the Communications Authority of Kenya said that the number of cyber-attacks in the country grew to 3.8 million between July and September.

During the quarter, the National Cyber Centre (NCC) detected over 3.8 million cyber threats, which was an increase from the last quarter where 3.4 million threats were detected.

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