Published:  12:20 AM, 12 June 2019

Of malicious software

The sudden outbreak not long ago of the malicious software 'WannaCry,' which created a menace globally leaving people worried, rang alarm bells, to wake the connected world up from unconsciousness about volatilities and vulnerabilities in its computer systems.

Hundreds of thousands of computers of at least 150 countries worldwide, including Bangladesh, came under the menacing attacks in what has been called 'ransomware.' After remotely gaining control of computers, attackers demand ransom money, usually in the form of Bitcoins which are harder to trace than the regular currency, to decrypt the files they have already forcefully encrypted. Crevices existing in outdated software in Microsoft-run computers have been basically used to launch a barrage of attacks.

The 'epidemic' attacks have exposed a glaring truth for the modern world of connectivity. It is that there is a lack of adequate preparedness in preventing such attacks, that much is yet to be done before being complacent on cyber risks, and that it is absolutely necessary to find a way in tracing the attackers.

In a private estimate the damage in economic terms is around four billion US dollars, which might not be that much big, compared to the sum of global capitals. But what is more a fact of concern is the lack of capabilities and readiness in government and private institutions worldwide. That governments of the already affected countries, and also those who are not attacked, have gone on a state of alert about their cyber-security is a bit of solace.

Now the possibility of further cyber attacks, even mightier than previous ones, is alarming. National and global preparatory tools should be readied to prevent such attacks. The whole method of the cyber attacks signals that cyber threats are likely to continue, and the world should go for global rules on cyber issues, considering the very fact that cyber vulnerabilities have enormous global implications for every country and every society in these fraught times.

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