Less than a decade ago, everyone was getting nudged to leave paper and go tech. We were being told paper is wasteful, and tedious to work with, and old-school. We eventually did. We all moved from libraries and filing cabinets to cybers and data centers. And for a good long while, we’ve had a ball.
See, other than the odd virus here and there, and the woes of the Pentium era, tech has mostly lived up to this promise. Even previously prudent and ‘slow’ industries like healthcare and government long jumped in the bandwagon. We now have Huduma Centres and eCitizen. It’s been good. Until now.
For a few months now, the ever-witty thugs of the Internet have had to contend with fraud and piracy and whatnot. But since every era somehow has its miscreants, this decade’s thugs have left the hard world for the virtual one, where we’ve all decided to keep every bit of data that matters. Cybercrime. And up in the new trends in this includes Ransomware.
We’ve had viruses for a while. A long while. Ransomware is just another iteration of this old nuisance. Simply, this is someone (or someones) deciding to lock you out of your own systems. The main two famous ones are WannaCrypt and Petya.
You must have heard of them, these cheeky little infections that attack your computer, encrypt every usable file in it and ask you to pay roughly Ksh 30,000 to get your stuff back. Now this may sound trivial to many of us, laptop-totting individuals, but this is dire to corporates who have invaluable data. Think of hospitals, banks and governments. Unlike other tech events that pass like clouds overhead, we cannot overlook this, Njoki and Otieno. It does affect you.
In the coming weeks, we will be digging into this, discussing it, arming ourselves for when it comes (it most likely will come back) and keeping our necks above water.