NITDA raises the alarm over IGVM ransomware

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The National Information Technology Development Agency has advised Nigerians to be wary of IGVM, a file-encrypting ransomware infection that restricts access to personal data (documents, images, videos) by encrypting these files with the IGVM extension.

IGVM ransomware seeks to extort money from victims by requesting for ransom, in the form of bitcoin in exchange for access to data.

The virus spread via different forms like web injectors, pirated software, spam emails, malicious software bundles, fake software update, and deceiving online ads.

NITDA, in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, said, “NITDA is hereby urging the general public to follow these recommendations: Ensure regular data backup and recovery plan for all critical information. Use application whitelisting to help prevent malicious software and unapproved programs from running.

“Keep operating systems and software up-to-date with the latest patches. Maintain up-to-date anti-virus software, and scan all software downloaded from the internet before installing.

“Do not follow unsolicited web links in emails. Do not download or open suspicious email attachments. Do not open emails from suspicious recipients.”

The IGVM ransomware checks the victim’s computer system for target file formats and encrypts them using a private RSA key. It locks the files, and deletes volume shadow copies from the victim’s computer.

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