National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has cautioned internet users in Nigerian to be watchful of a computer virus termed “IGVM Ransomware”.
According to NITDA, the virus is a file encryption infection that restricts access to data such as documents, images, and files. videos.
This was made public in a statement by Ms Hadiza Umar, the agency’s head of cooperation and external relations.
The virus, Umar said “corrupts the computer by encrypting files with the IGVM extension and attempts to extort money from victims by demanding a ransom in the form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency in exchange for access to the data.”
According to her, the crypto virus could spread in the form of web injectors, pirated software, spam emails, malware bundles, bogus software updates and deceptive online advertisements.
“The main task of IGVM ransomware virus is to check your computer system for target file formats and encrypt them using Rivest – Shamir – Adleman (RSA) private key and once virus locks files , it runs several commands through Command.Exe to remove shadow volume copies from your system.
“It also prevents victims from restoring their copies of files for free using Windows tools.
“Then the virus modifies the Windows HOSTS file by adding a list of domains to it.
“These domains are mostly computer or computer websites. The attackers therefore take advantage of this measure to prevent the victim from seeking help or information online,” she said.
She urged Nigerians to ensure regular data backup and recovery plan for all critical information.
“Use the application whitelist to prevent malware and unapproved programs from running.”
“Keep the operating system and software up to date with the latest fixes.
“Keep antivirus software up to date and scan all software downloaded from the Internet before installing.
“Don’t follow unsolicited web links in emails and don’t download or open suspicious attachments,” she advised.
“The so-called decryption tool may be faulty or not work due to data modification on your end.
“It’s a way to finance an illegal business model, so citizens should avoid it.
“The fact that ransomware operators collect millions of ransoms every year just encourages people to join this cybercrime industry,” she said.
She further urged Nigerians to report related incidents by contacting NITDA’s Computer Emergency Preparedness and Response Team via email. firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +2348178774580(NOPE).