Saturday, May 20, 2017


Jakarta, May 20, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia has survived WannaCry ransomware attack that recently affected at least 200 thousand computers in some 100 countries, including Indonesia.
           "Today there is no WannaCry, not only in Indonesia but also across the world," Minister Rudiantara stated on the sidelines of the 2017 Asia Pacific Satellite Communications System International Conference on May 17, 2017.
          In Indonesia, 12 institutions were affected by the WannaCry virus earlier in May.
           "We have received a report confirming that 12 institutions were affected, but the figure could be higher," the minister said.
           The affected institutions included those in the plantation and manufacturing sectors, universities, and the vehicle registration center located in Jakarta and other regions.
          "However, in general, the attack was not significant when compared to those reported in other countries, thanks to the media that helped us to warn the public," he added.
        The WannaCry virus that attacks through data networks or the internet did not have a significant impact on Indonesia owing to the implementation of effective preventive measures, such as cutting off the internet connections and creating a backup of the data, he remarked.
            The minister, however, admitted that a few parties were affected by the WannaCry virus due to which they could not access their data, but such cases were few.

           Tens of computers were affected by the virus in Indonesia, which is quite few when compared to those affected in Great Britain, Russia, or China, Rudiantara noted.     
     The country's largest cancer hospital, Dharmais Hospital in Jakarta, was one of the institutions hit by the cyber attack, resulting in packed waiting rooms of around 100 to 200 people. They were forced to fill out forms manually, but the hospital said 70 percent of the systems had been restored online later.
         "We know that the Dharmais Hospital was partly affected. A police's one-roof public service system outside Java in Sulawesi was also attacked. A plantation company and a manufacturer were also affected. However, the virus attacked tens of their computers, as in one company less than 10 computers might have been affected," Rudiantara pointed out.
            He also stated that he believed none of the affected companies paid a ransom worth about US$300 in the form of virtual money, bitcoin, to access the locked data.  
   The Indonesian government, through the Indonesia Security Incident Response Team on Internet Infrastructure (ID-SIRTII), has requested the community to not necessarily meet the demands for ransom.
            "Regarding the ransom, I do not think Indonesian companies paid (it), because I have urged them to not pay," he emphasized.
            WannaCry attacked computers having the Windows operating system, as it is vulnerable due to the server message block run by the computer that can execute commands to spread them to other computers on the same network.
            The ransomware began spreading across the world recently, locking targeted computers and encrypting the data stored in them. This was followed by a demand for ransom to restore the data.
          Rudiantara has called on the public, particularly institutions and offices, to remain vigilant about similar cyber attacks, by creating backups and storing data on a separate server.
           Indonesia is yet to be free from the malware attack, with six to eight of the viruses still active.
            "Such viruses are less malicious than WannaCry, but they were here and attacked hundreds of computers in Indonesia," the minister cautioned the public.
            Hence, he has called on the public to regularly change the passwords of their accounts, emails, and ATM personal identification number to avoid virus attacks.
          "Regularly back up data, update software, or download the newest version of anti-virus software," he suggested.     
     One of the security measures adopted by the Ministry of Communication and Informatics is facilitating coordination with all internet service providers registered under the Indonesian Internet Services Provider Association to temporarily disconnect their connections to prevent the spread of the cyber virus.
             Head of the association Jamalul Izza pointed out that all internet service providers under his affiliation have taken the necessary steps to strengthen the security of their connections and implement filters for the customers.
             "We also filter everything. We have also urged our colleagues to give out warnings to the customers to do their own filtering processes, so that layered processes are in place," he affirmed.
           Meanwhile, Nurdin Tampubolon, member of the House of Representatives' Commission I, has urged the government to undertake serious efforts to establish a system aimed at protecting vital government devices in Indonesia from cyber attacks.
         "We need to establish a specific cyber system that can prevent cyber attacks on vital objects," he noted in a statement recently.
           Tampubolon also stressed the fact that cyber attacks could paralyze the government's strategic systems; hence, specific and comprehensive measures need to be in place to handle such situations.
          With regard to the plan to establish a cyber protection agency, he suggested that it should be set up under the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs. ***2***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 20-05-2017

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