WannaCry ransomware attack: How to protect yourself

As the "WannaCry" malware infection spreads across the world and threatens New Zealand, cyber experts are offering advice to Kiwis.

The computer encrypts your files with 'ransomware', holding your data hostage until a ransom fee is paid via BitCoin.

A live-tracking map shows reports of attacks from around the world, which appears to include New Zealand.

Police have provided advice to Ministry of Health officials on how to protect themselves from the malware.

The best way to protect yourself is:

  • Don't open emails from unknown senders
  • Don't open attachments or suspicious attachments from unknown senders
  • Make sure your Microsoft security updates are enabled

The Government Communications Security Bureau's (GCSB) cyber security bureau - the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - says it is "taking steps" to protect New Zealand.

"The NCSC is aware that the ransomware exploits a known vulnerability in Windows operating systems and has previously provided advice to it's customers on addressing this vulnerability.

"We are also working with CERT NZ to provide information on how individuals, small businesses and operators of larger systems can reduce their vulnerability to ransomware attacks."