The recent hacking of WeChat accounts has distressed users in the country. It is reported on social media sites that hackers breach into WeChat accounts and share obscene videos and photographs.
WeChat is a free messaging and calling application with its server based in China. Many Bhutanese use this application.
To prevent hacking, Bhutan Computer Incident Response Team (BtCIRT) with the information and communications ministry urges WeChat users to check for updates periodically, set a unique WeChat ID, to disable features that enables strangers to find users such as Drift Bottle, People Nearby, Shake and Find Me.
For compromised accounts BtCIRT recommends users to freeze their account by choosing WeChat Help Center available at the bottom of the login screen and following the instructions of the Freeze Account option.
BtCIRT officials in an email interview said, “We have encountered 58 websites that were defaced, 23 machines being infected by malware, one phishing site launched in Bhutan and we were reported of six social media cases.”
Cyber crimes including scam emails were reported in the past and people were cheated with promises. Officer in Charge (OC) of cyber crime unit with the Royal Bhutan Police, said people should enquire and confirm such information with the authorities concerned.
The OC said that users should not add people they do not know and should install updated anti-virus software.
“People should not click random links without confirming it,” he added, and urged users to be careful and to refrain from disclosing too much personal information on social media sites. “We can prevent cyber crimes but only with the support of the public.”
BtCIRT officials said as per their record, cyber incidents in Bhutan are comparatively lower than in other countries. “But this could also be because our users don’t even realise that their system or account has been compromised or they do not report.”
Ransomware is among the latest cyber crime that is affecting countries around the world.
BtCIRT has alerted people not to click on unexpected email links or attachments to prevent ‘ransomware’ attack.
The cyber crime unit has created a facebook page ‘CYBER CRIME AWARNESS’ to alert public about cyber threats and also to investigate and assist in the investigation of cyber crime.
To enhance cyber security in Bhutan, BtCIRT offers services such as incident analysis, alerts and warnings about cyber threats. It also provides proactive services such as monitoring to detect malicious activities and providing warnings in case of security vulnerabilities.