Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Cyber Security in Saudi Arabia Enhances Readiness | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh- Saudi National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) warned Wednesday of the spread of the malicious ransom program around the world “Petya,” offering tips and guidance to protect the devices in the country from these viruses.

NCSC Communication and Strategic Development Executive Director Abbad al-Abbad told Asharq Al-Awsat that the center has informed all government agencies in Saudi Arabia about the activeness of the virus, stressing that the warnings were sent to the government and vital bodies.

In a series of tweets, the center noted the importance of reviewing all open ports on the network that can be accessed via the Internet and recommended the closure of the ports 139, 135 and 445.

The Center also recommended blocking the PsExec program as well as making updates to Microsoft MS17- 010, while confirming an isolated backup of the network, with updated hardware and antivirus software.

The Center said that its analysis shows the spread of such software through phishing mail, and that the virus exploits the vulnerability in MS17 – 010.

It pointed out that the software could spread through remote programs and could write on the «MBR» and encrypt it.

A wave of cyber-attacks described as “unprecedented” hit a number of devices months ago with the same virus, affecting the work of many institutions and organizations around the world, including hospitals in Britain.

Saudi government and technical agencies rushed to send warnings of the danger of the virus and to clarify that it is a malicious program that affects smart phones and computers, and encrypts and locks their data so that they can not be accessed unless they pay a specific amount of money.

The technical departments of these government bodies have raised their level of readiness.

They warned people of remaining cautious and not opening any suspicious messages or attachments, whether suspicious or even known, unless the reason for the transmission and its reliability is determined through communicating with the sender.