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Cypriot companies hit by computer virus

October 16, 2018 at 3:24pm

Police has been receiving complaints about a new ransomware/cryptoware, called Dharma which has been affecting servers, offices and individual users.

The virus is sent via email.

“Unfortunately, five companies in Cyprus have been affected. We are in direct communication with Europol in order to unlock this ransomware as soon as possible,” Director of the Office for Combating Cybercrime, Andreas Anastasiades told Active Radio.

Users can be affected by the virus by opening malicious emails with misleading titles and/or downloading attachments in .docx or .pdf form or by following links on the emails.

If a user does one of these, Dharma will lock files in the affected computer and will ask for money as ransom to allow the user to unlock them.

To avoid being affected, police suggests that users:

  • Often create backups of their files in external drives.
  • Unless they are completely certain of the sender’s identity, or the content of an email, users should not download attachments or follow links on emails. Extra attention should be paid to emails where the sender appears to be a service or company unknown to them.
  • Type website addresses instead of using links.
  • Use genuine software and always have updated anti-virus software installed on their computers.
  • Regularly check and update their operating system (Windows, Linux, macOS).
  • Don’t use JavaScript when opening pdf, word files.

At this stage there is no known way of restoring the affected files.

For more information or complaints, citizens can contact the Office for Combatting Cybercrime at 22808200 or via cybercrime.police.gov.cy

Read more:

Police: Cyprus ready to handle cyber-attack