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NITDA Warns Against New Crypto-Virus Created By Ransomware Hackers

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has warned Nigerians about a new computer virus created by ransomware hackers with the ability to encrypt and destroy important information

Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has raised an alarm over a new computer virus that has the ability to damage crucial computer information. 

The virus, known as IGVM Ransomware, is a file that prevents access to data such as documents, photographs, and videos, according to the agency. 

In a statement released on Saturday, May 29, Hadiza Umar, the agency’s Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations, she said the virus “corrupts the computer by encrypting files with the IGVM extension and attempts to extort money from victims by requesting for ransom in the form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency in exchange for access to data.”

Web injectors, pirated software, spam emails, malicious software bundles, fake software upgrades, and deceptive online adverts, she said, might all be ways for the crypto-virus to propagate.

“The primary task of IGVM ransomware virus is to check your computer system for target file formats and encrypt them using a private Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA) key and once the virus locks the files, it then runs several commands via Command.Exe to delete Volume Shadow Copies from your system.”

“It equally prevents the victims from restoring their file copies for free, using Windows tools.” 

Usman added that the virus has the ability to modify the system files by adding some domains to the Windows Host. 

“These domains are mostly computer or IT-related websites. So the attackers capitalise on this measure to prevent the victim from seeking help or information online,” she said.

She reminded Nigerians to ensure that all vital data is regularly backed up and recovered.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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