1. Wannacry ransomware attack: How safe are Aadhaar cards, banks or even ATMs?

Wannacry ransomware attack: How safe are Aadhaar cards, banks or even ATMs?

Microsoft, quoted by BBC, said that the recent cyber attack that has hit over 150 countries in the last week should be considered as a "wake-up call".

By: | Published: May 15, 2017 11:58 AM
“Since the user’s bank account is linked with his Aadhaar number, the ransomware can potentially lock down the account and make it unusable unless a ransom is paid,” (Image courtesy: Reuters)

Microsoft, quoted by BBC, said that the recent cyber attack that has hit over 150 countries in the last week should be considered as a “wake-up call”. The multi-billion tech giant said that widespread damage had been caused by the software vulnerabilities that have been hoarded by the various governments over the years. The virus used in the process finds and exploits a flaw in one of the versions of Microsoft Windows, something that was first detected by US intelligence. The concern is that experts have predicted bigger attacks on Monday. According to BBC, the virus slowed down during the weekends but still managed to affect more than 2,00,000 computer systems.

Ransomware can be defined as a software (virus), designed with the intent to block the access to any computer system, holding the owner to ransom till the demanded sum of money is paid. The said virus that affected more than 150 countries over the week, is said to have demanded $300 as payment to restore the user’s access to his own computer. Ransomware normally holds the computer in a hostage system, encrypts all your data and prevents all your apps and other software from running. Indian Express reports, that a crypto-ransomware, called WannaCry or WannaCrypt was used to affect various countries, including India on Friday. Like the name Ransomware suggests, The WannaCrypt0r 2.0 bug encrypted all the data within a computer system, putting it under a virtual lockdown and asked the user to pay the said amount by a message on the screen. The ransom amount was $300 in Bitcoins. The hacker group that did this, remains a mystery so far. It is, however, believed that the hackers used America’s National Security Agency (NSA) created “Eternal Blue Hacking Weapon” to take over computers used by terrorist outfits. It must, however, be noted that this programme could only hack into computers dependent on the Microsoft Windows operating system. According to IE, what is interesting is that the programme had been stolen from the NSA by a group that called itself Shadow Broker. The reason, it seemed, that they were unhappy with the US President Donald Trump.

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Who stopped the attacks?

The viral attack was stopped by an accidental samaritan, who wanted to be identified only as MalwareTech. MalwareTech is a security researcher, who found the security switch in the form of a link to a domain name. What he then did, was buy the domain name for $10.69, triggering thousands of pings from infected systems and killing the malware. The targets of this ransomware were devices that ran on some form of Microsoft Windows.

How safe are banks and or Aadhar Card info?

Microsoft claims that in March, it had released a security update to counter these exposed vulnerabilities and had urged the users to update their systems. However, in India, for most computers users, regular updates is not a habit. So a user can start by updating the system. Secondly, users have been cautioned against opening attachments that they do not trust. Users have been advised not to click on links that they did not trust to stop the download of software from unknown, unverified sources.

It must also be noted that a majority of ATMs, all over the country run on the outdated Windows XP. Now, while the company claims to have provided updates to check the said malware, it had stopped providing any updates for the Windows XP system in 2014, thus putting the machines at a higher risk.

According to the Pradipto Chakrabarty, Regional Director, CompTIA India, who was quoted by IE, the linking if Aadhar card to bank accounts, income tax and other information increased the threat at the surface. “Since the user’s bank account is linked with his Aadhaar number, the ransomware can potentially lock down the account and make it unusable unless a ransom is paid,” Chakrabarty warned.

A report, attributed to F-Secure states the need for a four-phase approach to this threat: Predict, Prevent, Detect, and Respond. The user should predict the attack by performing an exposure analysis if his system. He could then prevent the attack using the deployment of a defensive tactic, like the one Microsoft had released earlier. In case the attack has already taken place, the user could respond by trying to understand how the hacking took place and detect by looking for the signs of where the intrusion took place and suspicious behaviour.

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    BRYAN WHYTE
    Nov 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm
    Hi, My name is BRYAN WHYTE and i just want to share my experience with everyone. I have being hearing about this blank ATM card for a while and i never really paid any interest to it because of my doubts. Until one day i discovered a hacking guy called CARL . he is really good at what he is doing. Back to the point, I inquired about The Blank ATM Card. If it works or even Exist. They told me Yes and that its a card programmed for om money withdraws without being noticed and can also be used for free online purchases of any kind. This was shocking and i still had my doubts. Then i gave it a try and asked for the card and agreed to their terms and conditions.. Four days later I received my card and tried with the closest ATM machine close to me, to my greatest surprise It worked like magic. I was able to withdraw up to $3000 daily. ATM has really change my life. If you want to contact them, Here is the email address (atmcardservice41 ).
    Reply
    1. gilberto melo
      Sep 12, 2017 at 2:04 am
      BE SMART AND BECOME RICH IN LESS THAN 3 DAYS....It all depends on how fast you can be to get the new PROGRAMMED blank ATM card that is capable of hacking into any ATM machine, anywhere in the world. I got to know about this BLANK ATM CARD when I was searching for job online about a month ago.. It has really changed my life for good and now I can say I'm rich and I can never be poor again. The least money I get in a month with it is about $50,000.(fifty thousand USD). Everyday I keep pumping money into my account. Though it is illegal, there is no risk of being caught, because it has been programmed in such a way that it is not traceable, it also has a technique that makes it impossible for the CCTV's to detect you.. For details on how to get yours today, email the hackers on: (chinaatmcards ).
      Reply
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        Robert Walter
        Sep 20, 2017 at 12:47 pm
        I am very excited today and do not know where to start my testimony from. I was a poor woman with 3 kids, i found it difficult to pay my bills and feed my kids. My husband left me and the kids for another woman and ever since then we were living in pain and hunger but just few days ago i came across a testimony of a man who got a blank ATM card from Mcgregor Kelvins so i immediately contacted them for the same type of ATM card and i am very happy to announce to the world that i am living a fulfilled life. This Blank ATM card can withdraw up to 10,000 dollars and more daily without you having any account with any Bank. I have been able to buy a house and living big with this blank ATM card. Are you poor and need help then contact Mcgregor Kelvins via email: ( bestamericaatm )
        Reply
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        Subramanian
        May 16, 2017 at 7:22 am
        Hope the Apex court will strike down the Aadhar scheme as a w and save India
        Reply
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          Subramanian
          May 16, 2017 at 7:21 am
          Why the word S does not appear. It was s aadhar save india
          Reply
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            Subramanian
            May 16, 2017 at 7:20 am
            S AADHAR SAVE INDIA
            Reply
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              Subramanian
              May 16, 2017 at 7:19 am
              Many had written on mygov.nic that the higher ups in office are doing a disservice to the nation by going ahead with enforcement of Aadhar and full digitization. India is not yet self reliant on software or hardware fronts. Therefore other nations can hold us for ransom. The persons in office should have tried to make India self reliant (with the crores spent for advertising promotion of Aadhar). Why is Aadhar data collection done through private agencies ? Hope at least the Apex Court will intervene and s Aadhar scheme as a w . S AADHAR SAVE INDIA.
              Reply
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                Anonymous
                May 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm
                MR MODIJI MR JETLEYJI, we hope atleast now your eyes and sixth sense can wakeup after this and stop tat nautanki of linking this and that and that and this and get exposed to such worldwide hacking. when the USA' s NSA is not safe how the can UIDAI (mr nilankanni the uaidi pioneer) can make statements on safety of AADHAR and PAN!. MR PRIME MINISTER you first of all do not know waht is digitization and how vulnerable you are once you digitize your information on line. Those advising your goodself want to only get their own milEAGE OF WAH WAH WAH AND MEDALS AND CERTFICATE AND YOUR GUDSELF TO GET THE POLITICAL MILAGE ARE MAKING A BIG PROPO A AND HO HAA of online and digital India.Have you or your joker advisors tought of the negative impact it can have ????? So lawmakers including the PM and the FM and their technical IT chamchas just go slow on what you are doing showing nation and the Indian citizens that you are curbing black money. Do not fool us. You are now already - fooled
                Reply
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                  SM
                  May 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm
                  Outof 150 countries affected 149 countries do not have aadhaar.
                  Reply
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                    SM
                    May 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm
                    Why do you want to confuse ordinary user by the bogey of Aadhaar.
                    Reply
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