The Federal Government has issued an emergency advice to Nigerians on how to protect their computers from being affected by ransomware.This follows the massive cyberattack that hit 99 countries across the world, as cybersecurity researchers said they detected 36,000 instances of the ransomware called “WannaCry virus” and variants of the name.

The government’s advice was contained in a statement issued on Saturday by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Ibrahim Pantami.

The agency recommended that systems infected by ransomware should be immediately isolated from the computer network, to prevent the threat from further spreading.

NITDA said “do not use flash/pen drive, external drives on the system to copy files to other systems” and “format the system completely and get fresh OS copy installed”.

For emergency assistance, the agency asked Nigerians to contact its Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team on “800-9988-7766- 5544 or e-mail: support@cerrt.ng”.

It further recommended some general precautionary measures to individuals and organisations, saying they should “regularly update their operating systems with the latest patches”, and “regularly update their software applications with latest patches”.

“Avoid downloading and opening unsolicited files and attachments; adjust security software to scan compressed or archived files; avoid indiscriminate use of wireless connections such as Bluetooth or infrared ports,” the statement added.