BVI News

BVI urged to heed wake-up call, prioritize cyber security

The firm known as BDO BVI said the British Virgin Islands (BVI) should use a recent malware wannacry outbreak as a wake-up call, adding that there is need for the territory to start giving priority to cyber security.

The recent attack internationally was not the first, and BDO thinks is not likely to be the last.

“This is another wake-up call for the BVI,” said Ryan Geluk, Director in Audit and Technology Risk Services at BDO. “How many [attacks] do we need to finally give priority to cybersecurity?”

According to the company, the malware wannacry that is more than a week old, affected more than 230,000 computers over 150 countries, targeting unpatched Microsoft Windows.

“The malware hit many industries, most notably hospitals in the UK. It holds computers hostage and encrypts files on the affected network that can only be decrypted in exchange for bitcoins – an anonymous cyber currency.”

“It infects users using phishing – a practice of sending malicious attachments or links by emails that look genuine or from a trusted source to trick the user into infecting their machine. By opening the attachment or clicking on the link, the ransomware installs on the system and propagates itself to other networks,” BDO further said in a media release.

Guy-Paul Dubois, Manager of Technology Risk Services at the company, stated that such attacks have been profitable for cyber criminals, adding that history has been repeating itself.

“The same thing happened with the Conficker malware years ago. Another similar attack may affect us in the near future as it is so profitable for cyber criminals,” Dubois said.

BDO added that, so far, “little is known” as to how many users were affected in the BVI by the recent malware.

“We urge everyone to keep their systems up-to-date,” said Dubois. “The patch from Microsoft has been available since March 2017 and just takes a few minutes to install.”

BDO further said Microsoft already released an emergency patch for anyone still using older operating system such as Windows XP, 8 and Windows Server 2003, which are not supported anymore.

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