The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has taken preventive measures against ransomware attacks by international gangs of hackers that continue to pose a serious threat to state institutions, the private sector and individuals globally and here in Cambodia.
A ministry notice seen by The Post on July 4 said there had recently been an increase in ransomware attacks over the internet that posed a danger to all internet users and especially to state institutions and large corporations.
“This type of attack has a severe impact on daily operations because it encrypts all of that institution or businesses data, preventing access to it unless a ransom is paid.
“Computer systems can be infected with ransomware through factors such as unlicensed software use, opening documents attached to emails and failing to update software,” the notice said.
The ministry explained that victims of ransomware attacks have to pay a ransom in a digital currency like Bitcoin in order to get the key to decrypt their data and regain access to it.
Hackers have also used pressure tactics against some victims like stealing their data and threatening to release it publicly if the ransom isn’t paid, which may tarnish their reputations or reveal valuable confidential trade secrets or market information.
In response to the problem, the ministry has advised users of licensed software to avoid downloading applications from the internet without being clear about their source.
They should also update operating systems and the programmes on their computers and mobile devices regularly and install anti-virus apps and update them regularly.
The ministry advises everyone to take extreme caution when clicking on any links or opening attached documents in emails before verifying that the sender can be trusted.
Everyone should also do regular back-ups of all of their data and store them offline as a less-costly means of recovery should an attack occur.
More information and assistance is available online at the telecommunications ministry’s Cambodia Computer Emergency Response Team website: https://www.camcert.gov.kh/en/
CamCERT - National CERT of Cambodia (https://www.camcert.gov.kh/en/)