Dozens of Philippine companies hit by ransomware

A cybersecurity expert said at least 28 companies in the Philippines have been infected by a worm.
A cybersecurity expert said at least 28 companies in the Philippines have been infected by a worm. PHOTO: EPA

MANILA - More than two dozen companies in the Philippines were hit in a global ransomware attack, but most have moved quickly to contain the damage.

A cybersecurity expert told The Straits Times he is aware of at least 28 companies here that have been infected by a worm, dubbed WannaCry, that locked up some 200,000 companies in more than 150 countries.

He declined to name the companies because he works with some of them, but said the biggest to take a hit was a multinational logistics company.

He described the scale of the damages as "small to medium", explaining that the malware infected only 30 per cent of the affected servers and computers.

The companies contained the damage by just reformatting their servers and restoring their data from backups, he said.

"We took a minor hit, but there's still the risk. There are still many more malwares out there, but companies here are just being reactive. Most of them just ignore the threat," he said.

Police and justice officials said on Sunday (May 14) they have yet to receive reports of an attack, but that their cybercrime units were already checking for vulnerabilities in the government's internet infrastructure.

"So far, we have yet to receive reports regarding the incident," Superintendent Jay Guillermo, a spokesman for the Anti-Cybercrime Group told reporters.

He added, though, that companies do not usually report data breaches.

But he advised the companies affected to retain information that could lead to the source of the attacks.