For the past few days now, a WhatsApp message has been spreading like wildfire regarding the WannaCry ransomware. If you receive such forwarded messages (the contents which we’ll describe below), DO NOT FORWARD THEM TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW.
The message reads as below:
Latest update on the Ransomware Cyber Attack
The Wannacry Cyber Attack has reached Online Banking, Online Purchases and Online Marketing.
Please do not perform any transactions such as below:
1) Online Transaction (CIMB Clicks, Maybank2U, RHB Now and etc.) Please prefer to go to ATM or CDM direct.
2) Avoid online purchase (Lazada, Zalora, Shoppu, Carousell, McDonald’s, KFC Delivery, Pizza Hut Deliver and etc.)
3) Avoid downloading unknown messages in your whatsapp which requires you to enter any URL with passwords.
Stay Aware, Stay Secured!
To make the message look authentic, the message also contains a URL from The Star Onlinecontaining a report claiming that WannaCry has also affected Malaysians. The report quotes that Malaysia was one of the 100 or so countries mentioned by cyber security blog MalwareTech that have been hit by WannaCry.
Let’s debunk this message. The WannaCry ransomware takes advantage of a vulnerability on Windows, not Android or iOS – so your smartphone (or WhatsApp) will not be affected by WannaCry.
There remains mixed reports on WannaCry’s spread in Malaysia. On the other hand, both the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and CyberSecurity Malaysia have gone to state that no reports have yet been received.
On top of that, the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) has also gone on record to confirm that there are no disruptions on internet banking and ATM services due to WannaCry nationwide. Besides the normal maintenance downtimes, there is nothing out of the ordinary that Malaysians should be wary about.
The viral message has clearly reached new heights, as yesterday (Wednesday), the Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Wilfried Madius Tangau held a press conference to address the issue – a highly unusual move, but an important one when tackling the spread of fake news.
Need more? Sebenarnya.my, the MCMC website dedicated to debunking fake news, has also confirmed that no ATM machines in Malaysia are affected by ransomware.
While the threat of ransomware is real, the confusion caused by spreading fake news carries greater implications. So if you do come across this message passed on to you by concerned (but uninformed) friends and family members, we urge you to explain the truth.