As per a recent report, government has shut down some ATMs all over the country as a preventive measure to avert the threat of ransomware virus. The attack has emerged as one of the biggest cyber threats in the history of the country.
Government is concerned over the ongoing cyber attack by globally active ransomware virus- Wannacry that critically infects work stations and locks them remotely. As safety measures, ATMs all over India have been closed.
In the wake of the threat, MHA officials are currently taking care of the situations.
‘Preparedness and response mechanism’ have been activated to prevent the cyber attack, which is already affecting computer system. While in some other parts of the world, the ransomware wreaked havoc on organisations including FedEx and Telefónica, as well as the NHS in UK, where operations were cancelled, X-rays, test results and patient records became unavailable and phones did not work.
The ransomware demands users pay $300 worth of cryptocurrency Bitcoin, in order to retrieve their files, though it issues a warning that the “payment will be raised” after a certain amount of time.
Translations of the ransom message in 28 languages are included. The malware spreads through email.
As per a statement issued by MHA, “MeitY has initiated contact with relevant stakeholders in public and private sector to ‘patch’ their systems as prescribed in the advisory issued by CERT-IN. MeitY has also requested Microsoft India to inform all their partners and customers to apply relevant patches.”
“However, it is understood that a few systems of the police department in Andhra Pradesh were impacted. MeitY has informed AP government, to follow the CERT-In advisory.”
Ransomware spreads by using a vulnerability in implementations of “Server Message Block” (SMB) in Windows systems, said the Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre).
This is how you can prevent your gadgets from being attacked –
1 – Prevent infections by updating critical software as soon as patches or new operating system versions are available. This includes mobile and other internet-connected devices.
2 – Strong authentication — requiring more than a username and password to access accounts — should be used on critical networks to prevent access through stolen or hacked credentials.
3 – Systems can be restored in cases of ransomware and having current backup of all data speeds the recovery process.
4 – In cases where passwords are still used, require long, strong and unique passwords to better harden accounts against intrusions.