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How to avoid the WannaCry virus

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has issued a guideline on what to do if you have been affected by WannaCry

How to avoid the WannaCry virus
In the GCC infections have been reported in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, although not on the same scale as experienced in Europe.

A massive global ransomware attack, dubbed WannaCry, caused havoc over the weekend where cybercriminals tricked victims into opening malicious malware attachments to spam emails.

The attack affected more than 99 countries, with Russia reporting 70% of targets known so far. In the GCC infections have been reported in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, although not on the same scale as experienced in Europe.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) released a statement in which it said: "The #aeCERT team in the TRA said that so far we have not received any e-government services cases that are affected by the virus."

The TRA however calls on users not to open attachments from unknown sources and stresses that system administrators must ‘increase the degree of readiness and continuous monitoring of systems' and to alert authorities if their systems have bene exposed.

The TRA has issued the following guidelines:

How to avoid the WannaCry virus:

1. The victim receives a message or link from an anonymous person, the content of the link is a file containing malicious software.

2. The sender tempts the victim to download the file by deceiving him that the message contains important or personal files.

3. The user uploads the file to his or her smartphone.

4. The virus encrypts important data in the device or encrypts the entire device, so that the user cannot access his data.

5. The offender asks the victim for money / a "ransom" in exchange for the decoding of the data and returning it to its nature.

How do you reduce your risk of exposure to this virus?

1. Make sure to back up your device data constantly.

2. Avoid opening links from unknown sources, and do not upload files sent by anonymous people via email.

3. Use anti-virus software and make sure it's original, and update it constantly.

4. Update the operating system of your phone and PC continuously, and be sure to update the software in it.

5. Avoid accessing suspicious sites.

6. Be sure to download software and applications from official sources and avoid pirated programs.

What to do if your computer gets infected with the virus:

1. Avoid obeying them. If you pay the required amount, they will continue to extort and ask for more money.

2. If the affected device is affiliated to your organisation, inform the IT department directly.

3. If the affected device is your personal computer, take it to the authorised dealer.

4. Stop operations on the device or network directly and restore the backup.

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