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UAE warns of PDF malware on WhatsApp, email

In the latest bout of malicious software, UAE authorities are now warning residents to be vigilant when it comes to opening anonymous files on WhatsApp.

The Telecommunications Regulations Authority (TRA) alerted residents of PDF malware files sent anonymously to emails or WhatsApp accounts, which can cause heavy damage on electronic devices and smartphones.

The TRA Computer Emergency Readiness Team earlier announced that a total of 615 cyberattacks against government, semi-government and private sector entities in the UAE were blocked during the first 10 months of 2017.

The TRA also called upon social media users, including individuals and establishments, “to exercise maximum caution while dealing with PDF files sent from anonymous sources,” citing official figures by McAfee, a global computer security software company.

It also added that PDF malware accounted for a significant portion of cyberattacks launched over the past few years, and urged residents and establishments to have backup databases independent of the internet.

“Cyberattacks seek to deface and block government websites, including denial of service, hacking, deception, fraud, and identity and document theft,” said the TRA.

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