PNP on ransomware: Don’t click
An anti-cybercrime unit of the Philippine National Police gave this advice to computer users to prevent their files from getting infected by ransomware, a virus that takes files hostage and frees them only after payment of ransom.
The PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) said while ransomware attack or cyberextortion could be prevented, no cybercrime unit anywhere in the world had been able to stop it.
The most effective preventive measure, the ACG said, was not to click on suspicious internet links or open e-mail from unknown sources.
Senior Supt. Michael Angelo Zuñiga, ACG operations division chief, said “ransomware is a problem of cybercrime units although there are laboratories, private security companies trying to find solutions.”
Ransomware prevents a user from accessing his computer or files, through encryption, unless ransom is paid. Some forms of ransomware had been given names like Reventon, Cryptolocker, Wannacry and Cryptowall.
Zuñiga said ransomware is usually introduced to a victim’s computer in a link sent by e-mail.
“It is through that link that they will gain control over your computer,” said Zuñiga.
He said even after payment of ransom “there is no assurance you will regain access to your computer or files.”
He said the identities of those behind the cyberattacks are still unknown and there has not been any successful prosecution of those involved.