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Ransomware Attacks on the Rise in Kenya: What You Need to Know

Ransomware attacks kenya

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise globally, and Kenya has not been spared. The recent attacks on the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and Naivas Supermarket have highlighted the need for individuals and organizations to take cybersecurity seriously.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files or system and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware attacks can target individuals or organizations, and they can be devastating as they can cause loss of data, financial losses, and reputational damage.

How does Ransomware Work?

Ransomware attacks can occur through various means, including phishing emails, malicious attachments, or exploiting vulnerabilities in software or systems. Once the ransomware gains access to a system, it begins to encrypt files, making them inaccessible to the user. The attackers then demand a ransom payment, usually in cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption key. The ransom amount can vary depending on the type of ransomware and the targeted victim.

Examples of Ransomware Attacks in Kenya

The recent ransomware attacks on the Kenya Airports Authority and Naivas Supermarket are examples of how devastating these attacks can be. The KAA attack The attack did not have a significant financial or operational impact, and KAA claims that no sensitive data was stolen. However, the attackers released 514 GB of data, including procurement plans, physical plans, site surveys, invoices, and receipts, on the internet. The Naivas attack, on the other hand, exposed private information including invoices, agreements, and customer data to possible manipulation by unknown actors.

How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware Attacks

There are several measures individuals and organizations can take to protect themselves from ransomware attacks. These include:

  1. Keep your software and systems up to date: Ensure that you install updates and patches for your operating system, software, and applications regularly.
  2. Use antivirus software: Install and use reputable antivirus software that can detect and block ransomware attacks.
  3. Educate yourself and your employees: Train yourself and your employees on how to detect and avoid phishing emails and malicious attachments.
  4. Backup your data: Regularly backup your important data and store it offsite or on the cloud.
  5. Use multi-factor authentication: Use multi-factor authentication for your accounts and systems to add an extra layer of security.

What to Do If You Are a Victim of a Ransomware Attack

If you are a victim of a ransomware attack, it is essential to act fast to minimize the damage. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Disconnect from the network: Disconnect the affected device from the network to prevent the malware from spreading.
  2. Contact law enforcement: Report the attack to the relevant authorities, such as the police or the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK).
  3. Do not pay the ransom: It is not advisable to pay the ransom as there is no guarantee that the attackers will provide the decryption key or that they will not target you again.
  4. Restore from backup: Restore your system from backup once you have eliminated the ransomware from your system.

Read: Liquid Opens its first Cyber Security Fusion Centre in Nairobi

About author

Editor at TechArena. I cover all things technology and review new gadgets as I get them. You can reach me on email: kaluka@techarena.co.ke
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