Even as companies around the globe are preparing for an imminent cyber attack, the computers of two village panchayats in Kerala were hit, with messages demanding $300 in virtual currency to unlock the files. Officials who on Monday opened the office computer at the Thariyode panchayat office in the hilly district of Wayanad found that four of their computers have been hacked. “The four computers were switched on as usual and they were unable to open the any document files as the virus displayed messages demanding a payment of $300 in virtual currency Bitcoin to unlock files and return them to the user. We have informed the district authorities about this,” said Santhosh, a panchayat official.
Likewise another village panchayat at Aruvapulam near Konni in Pathanamthitta district on Monday morning got a similar virus message when their computer was switched on. Officials attached to the two offices said the computers that have been affected did not have any major documents as they continue to rely on paper files. IT experts are working on these systems on how best to come out of this cyber attack.