Rwanda Youth and ICT Minister, Jean Philbert Nsengimana.
Rwanda Youth and ICT Minister, Jean Philbert Nsengimana.
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Rwanda government through the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) has pledged stronger cooperation with the public in enhancing cyber security for all computers in the country.

The announcement comes after an alert over an outbreak of a security attack that has affected over 150 countries world over.

The cyber security attack is known as ransomeware, bearing different variations like WannaCrypt, WannaCry, WannaCryptor or Wcrya.

Technocrats have also identified that it mostly affects computers that run Microsoft Operating Systems, by automatically encrypting the files and blocking the user ‘s access to the entire system.

“Over the last decade Rwanda’s strong growth through ICT promotion has brought untold opportunities and prosperity in the country. And as we globally face this challenge in cyber security, as a country we strongly believe that an integrated strategy to ensure effective regulation to our cyber security is significant at this point,” read a statement from RISA.

The Authority further aligned a set of actions which will ensure lasting national prevention and protection.

Among the actions, users are required to maintain daily backups of critical data including application, databases, mails systems, and user’s files. Backups should be regularly tested for data restoration.

All computers in the country shall be installed with latest security updates (specifically including MS17-010. Patch) and until the security patch is applied, the Server Message Block v1 (SMB v1) shall be disabled on all computers.

LAN perimeter firewalls shall be configured with a rule to block all incoming SMB traffic on port 445 and all computers shall be upgraded to Windows 10 to benefit from the latest protection from Microsoft.

The Windows Defender Antivirus, which can detect the above malware, should also be enabled on all Windows systems.

User should ensure that their Antivirus signatures are up to date as major vendors are all working to deliver updated signatures to detect/ prevent this.

All users have been advised not to open any suspicious email especially the ones that have an attachment, furthermore all users are advised not to download any files that they are not sure of the source.

“We are taking comprehensive action to strengthen our information and communications technology sector countrywide. However, in case of any compromise or attack, RISA advises that the affected computer/PC must be removed from the network and the incident must also be reported to Rwanda Computer Security Incident Response team with immediate effect,” RISA’s statement further reads.