Kontan Online


Malware causes minor glitches

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 | Yudho Winarto

JAKARTA. Sundari Maret, 28, has been patiently waiting to get her e-ID card since May 2016. The last time she went to the Cipayung subdistrict office in East Jakarta she was told to come back on Monday to collect the card.

On Monday, Sundari found her name was on the list of individuals whose e-ID cards were ready to be collected. But her excitement turned to disappointment after she was told that all administrative services had to be suspended due to concerns over a possible WannaCry ransomware attack.

“I have to wait longer because the [Home Ministry] asked them not to turn on the computer systems to prevent the [ransomware] attack. This is a waste of time,” Sundari said, adding that she hoped the government could soon fix the problem.

Officials at the Cipayung subdistrict office and others in private and public institutions were following instructions from the Communications and Information Ministry, which advised people not to turn on their computers on Monday before shutting down the Wi-Fi connection or disconnecting their local area network. The ministry also advised people to back up all their data on an external hard drives.

The WannaCry malicious software has infected a large number of computers in at least 150 countries so far, and the numbers are expected to grow. Among the institutions hit by the attack are Britain’s National Health Service, the Russian Interior Ministry, FedEx, Nissan and some of Spain’s largest companies, including Telefónica. Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to a computer or its data and demands money to release it.

In Britain, the ransomware caused hospitals to divert emergency patients.

In Indonesia, the malware has infected the computer system of the Dharmais Cancer Hospital in West Jakarta.

In anticipation of the attack, Bank Mandiri, Indonesia’s largest lender by assets, has set up a command and security center aimed at protecting its system from being targeted by the ransomware.

“We have also set up a post to coordinate efforts to anticipate and respond if attacks are detected [at our branches],” Bank Mandiri corporate secretary Rohan Hafas told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Responding to concerns that ransomeware could compromise Bank Mandiri’s computer network, Rohan affirmed that all transactions at every branch proceeded normally on Monday and that no part of its system had been impacted by the virus.

The Indonesia Security Incident Response Team on Internet Infrastructure (ID-SIRTII) reported on Monday that a number of institutions had been targeted by the ransomware.

“At the moment, we have 11 institutions that have confirmed to us that they have been affected by the ransomware. These are central and regional government offices as well as private companies,” said Muhammad Salahuddien, deputy chairman of the IDSIRTII, on Monday.

On Monday, Wahidin Sudirohusodo General Hospital in Makassar, South Sulawesi, followed the Dharmais Cancer Hospital as the second hospital to succumb to the ransomware attack. The Makassar hospital is reported to have lost data on patients treated under the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) program.

“Thankfully, we have a backup of the data stored at the local BPJS office,” said Khalid Saleh, the director of the hospital.

Separately, Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara said if they continued unabated, the ransomware attacks could slow down the country’s health care services, as health workers would have to resort to manual paperwork.

Rudiantara was quick to add, however, that there had been no reports of significant damage caused by the attack, other than the virus that reportedly struck the Dharmais Cancer Hospital.

“The one targeting the Dharmais Cancer Hospital was the only significant attack we have encountered. There are other instances of minor attacks outside Java, but they were only found in a few computers,” Rudiantara said.

Rudiantara said he was optimistic that the ransomware attack could be contained, as it was being addressed by the international community, including by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said the ransomware attack raised the pressing issue of developing an integrated cyber agency to protect the country from cyber threats.

Wiranto said the formation of the National Cyber Agency was more relevant than ever after the malware attack. (Safrin La Batu, Viriya P. Singgih and Andi Hajramurni)

Source : The Jakarta Post

Reporter: Yudho Winarto
Editor: Yudho Winarto