NCC Warns Organisations Against New Ransomware Attacks

The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has called on organisations to be on the alert for ransomware attacker, called Yanluowang.

The commission gave the warning in a statement on Tuesday by its Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, urging organisations to adopt stronger cybersecurity measures against the threat.

The measures include ensuring the use of strong and unique passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication (2FA) to prevent ransomware attacks, while ensuring regular systems backup, the team stated.

According to the statement, the NCC-CSIRT warning came after the Yanluowang threat actors gained access to Cisco’s network using an employee’s stolen credentials after hijacking the employee’s personal Google account containing credentials synchronised from their browser.

As known, ransomware is a malware designed to deny a user or organisation access to files on their computer until they pay the attackers.

NCC-CSIRT said it estimated that potential damage from the incident could be critical, predicting that successful exploitation of the ransomware would result in ransomware deployment to compromise computer systems, sensitive products and customers’ data theft and exposure as well as huge financial loss to organisations by incurring significant indirect costs and could also mar their reputations.

“The first step to preventing ransomware attacks is to ensure that employees are using strong, unique passwords for every account and enabling multi-factor authentication (2FA) wherever it’s supported.

“In response to the attack, Cisco has immediately implemented a company-wide password reset. Users of Cisco products should ensure a successful password reset,” the team said.

They also urged companies to create two Clam AntiVirus signatures to disinfect any potentially compromised assets.

“User education is critical in thwarting this type of attacks or any similar attacks, including ensuring that employees are aware of the legitimate channels through which support personnel will contact users, so that employees can identify fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information.

“Organisations should ensure regular systems backup,” the team added.

The CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector that may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large.

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