Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monday's Ransomware Attack Fails to Dent India, Says Minister: 10 Facts

Monday's Ransomware Attack Fails to Dent India, Says Minister: 10 Facts
Two districts in Kerala, one in Bengal affected by Ramsomware WannaCry.
The Ransomware WannaCry virus has wormed its way into India, with fresh incidents reported from Kerala and Bengal. In Kerala, one of the most digitized states of India, half-a-dozen computers across two districts -- Waynand and Patanamthitta -- were affected. In Bengal, some computers of the state electricity discom were hit. Admitting some "isolated incidents" were reported, Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is keeping watch on the situation. Precautions have been taken on a war footing in telecom, power and aviation sectors to stop the virus that locks data and demands 300 Bitcoins to unlock it. 
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
  1. "The computers (at the panchayat in Kerala's Waynand) were using pirated version of Microsoft. They have been isolated and shut down. No sensitive information lost," said Manoj Abraham, a senior police officer in charge of Kerala's cyber security. "We have a specific Ransomeware school in cyberdome, which has been dealing specifically with such threats," he added.
  2. Power officials from Bengal said computers in four blocks of West Midnapore - Belda, Datan, Narayangarh and Keshiyari -- have been affected. "Some of the systems of our Computer Car Centres were initially attacked, which had no impact on our overall business operations," read a statement by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited.
  3. While the computers have been shut down and isolated, the power utility runs the risk of having more of its computers affected. Reports say computers in the power utility at Balurghat in Bengal's South Dinajpur have also been affected.
  4. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government has been updating its security system since March. "We are installing patch system to stonewall any cyber attack. We are also going to set up cyber coordination centre by June," he added.
  5. Over the weekend, more than 100 systems of the Andhra Pradesh police department were affected by the WannaCry virus.
  6. India's cyber security unit CERT-In said it has not received any formal report of cyber-attack today on India's vital networks.
  7. The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to follow the instructions of government organisation CERT-In to prevent 'WannaCry' attacks. Automated Teller Machines or ATMs are highly vulnerable to malware attacks. Most of the 2.2 lakh ATMS in India run on the old version of Microsoft's Windows operating system.
  8. Central transmission utility Power Grid today said it has put sufficient firewalls to deal with the global cyber-attack.
  9. Ransomware is a malicious software that locks a connected device, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone and then demands a ransom to unlock it. Over the last week, it has hit various IT networks in over 150 nations - the worst hit being UK, where computers of the National Healthcare System were compromised.
  10. WannaCry can infect all computers in a network and systems running on Microsoft XP are particularly vulnerable since the company has not issued updates for some time. After the cyber attack, Microsoft has issued a patch for Windows XP that needs to installed for protection from WannaCry.

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