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Ransomware Cyber Attack: Action and Reaction in India?

Ransomware Cyber Attack: Action and Reaction in India?

The Ransomware Cyber attack named WannaCry that took place on Friday last week has created uproar in the world. There are fair chances that this attack may get repeated. Many big organizations and especially the corporate world and state departments of different countries are worried about this attack.  Microsoft president Brad Smith criticized the US government and asked all the countries around the world to treat it as “wake up call”.

In his blog post, Smith said that it is the responsibility of both the tech companies and the customers. Microsoft has issued an update over the security features of Windows in March keeping in mind about the vulnerabilities of Windows. He also said that the NSA developed EternalBlue was stolen from the NSA and is the major reason for such a spy attack.

The Microsoft had recently launched a patch for updating the windows but not much of the computers updated the new patch and that was the major reason for such attacks. He also criticized the CIA and the US department over this issue and compared this stealing of EternalBlue with Tomahawk Missiles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also slammed the United States over this attack and said that these kinds of experiments by the creators may someday backfire them and they must be ready for it.

Ransomware Impact in India

In India, the ministry of information and technology asked the RBI and other government related agencies like NIC and UIDAI to look into this matter very closely and create a report on all the aspects of WannaCry. The home ministry asked the entire bank ATMs to be shut in order to avoid the ransomware attack on them. The RBI in response directed all the banks to update their ATMs with the latest patch update of Microsoft.

It is to be noted that there are 2.2 lakh ATMs across India and most of them operate on Windows XP and that too with the oldest updates. These conditions are the big reasons for online theft and vulnerability among Indian financial system. Last year there was a theft that stole the info of 3.2 lakh debit cards.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the media that they are keeping a close on the situation and are taking every possible step to avoid such attacks. It should be noted that few parts of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh were affected by the attack. The Andhra Pradesh Police too was the victim of the attack where the data in the system was encrypted and $300-600 was asked in bitcoins to decrypt the files.

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