WannaCry, the ransomware is highly popularly now and is already becoming a global phenomenon. The malware in just a few days managed to infect over 2 lakh computers throughout the world, affecting several companies and the working of important services. In India, five or six isolated instances have been reported in states like Gujarat, Kerala and West Bengal. However, any substantial disruption to country’s IT backbone has been denied by the IT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan. Even, Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has reportedly said that the malware has had almost zero impact on India. Recognising the issue, Union Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told news agency ANI, “As far as this cyber issue is concerned, the Government of India is keeping a very strong watch on it. We have been updating our whole security measures since March itself, software has been installed.”
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Meanwhile, cybersecurity firm Quick Heal Technologies has detected more than 48,000 attempts across India. According to a PTI report, Quick Heal Technologies’ managing director Sanjay Katkar said, “Our observation is that the attack is not focused towards any particular industry but it is widely spread across industries especially those organisations which are online and connected.” According to its data, 60 percent of the attacks were targeted at enterprises while 40 percent against individuals.
WannaCry spread through a leaked NSA (National Security Agency) exploit which targets the erstwhile versions of the Microsoft Windows OS. The WanaCrypt0r 2.0 bug basically encrypts data on a computer within seconds and displays a message asking the user to pay a ransom of $300 in Bitcoins to restore access to the device and the data inside. Payment is demanded within three days or the price is doubled, and if none is received within seven days the locked files will be deleted, according to the screen message.
Here are the Indian states which have been affected by the attack:
According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), few computers of the Police Department in Andhra Pradesh were disabled due to the attack, reported PTI. IT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan had pegged the figure at 18 computers.
Over 10 computers at customer care centres of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) were attacked in West Midnapore, South Dinajpur and East Midnapore districts. State power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay told PTI that few computers were affected out of the total 504 customer centres of the WBSEDC.
The WannaCry virus targetted a government-run hospital in Ganjam district, Odisha, PTI reported. The data and information management system at Berhampur City Hospital, which is located around 170 kilometres from Bhubaneshwar, was infected by the ransomware which in turn affected its e-medicine and data services. Additional District Medical Officer Saroj Mishra had said that experts from the National Informatics Centre were deployed to tackle the issue, according to the PTI report.
More than 120-odd computers connected with GSWAN (Gujarat State Wide Area Network) were affected by the WannaCry ransomware attack. However, no “crucial data” has been lost in the cyber attack, claimed the state government officials. Many personal computers in Vadodara fell victim to the cyber attack. About 10 percent of the total computers of the district administration were affected by the ransomware, according to district collector P Bharathi, reported PTI.
The national capital reported incidents of the attack as well, although specific details have not been mentioned.
Computers in the Southern Railways’ Palakkad division was under attack on May 16 but fortunately was limited to those in the personnel department. It is the sector which deals with staffing matter like appointments and transfers. According to agency reports, the Railways had said that 23 of the 500 systems located in various departments of the office came under target.
The Maharashtra Police department was also partially hit by the WannaCry ransomware. Other isolated incidents were reported in Mumbai and Pune as well, IE reported.
According to a PTI report, PCs in two panchayat offices in Wayanad and Pathanamthitta districts were disabled due to the cyber attack. 4 other computers at Thariyathodu panchayat in Wayanad and 2 devices at Aruvappulam panchayat in Pathanamthitta district were hit, but no major damage was caused, the police said.