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Wannacry ransomware cyber attack: Indian ATMs could be at high risk as most run on Windows XP

Considering the apparent threat, the Reserve Bank of India has asked banks in India to follow Indian Computer Emergency Response Team's (CERT-In) instructions thoroughly.

BT Online   New Delhi     Last Updated: May 15, 2017  | 17:59 IST
Wannacry ransomware cyber attack: Indian ATMs could be at high risk as most run on Windows XP

Wannacry ransomware has created panic across the globe. Though the malware is witnessing a slowdown, it could strike harder in a second wave of attacks. Considering the apparent threat, the Reserve Bank of India has asked banks in India to follow Indian Computer Emergency Response Team's (CERT-In) instructions thoroughly.

The ransomware is attacking computers running on Windows operating systems, which makes all Indian ATMs vulnerable to the ransomeware. Even the RBI has acknowledged the threat by asking all banks to update their software at ATMs. This move will prevent their systems from falling prey to the malware that has attacked payment systems across the world.

The CERT-In has released a series of instructions for individuals and organisations to tackle the ransomware. Since there is no effective solution to deal with systems hit by the ransomware, the emphasis is on prevention.

According to PTI, there are 2.2 lakh ATMs in the country. Over 60 per cent of these ATMs run on Windows XP, an outdated version of Windows which has stopped receiving regular software patches from Microsoft. Despite the lack of regular support, Microsoft has released a few patches for the outdated Windows XP and even Windows Vista.

Also Read: Wannacry ransomware attack: How India Inc survived cyber attacks in the past

Over the weekend, the ransomware has hit systems in more than 150 countries, including Russia and the UK, in one of the most widespread cyber attacks in history. It infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files on the computer.
The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about USD 300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device.

Microsoft has introduced a security patch to tackle the situation, and consumers across the globe have been advised to download the solution at the earliest.
CERT-In today said it has not received any formal report of cyber attack on India's vital networks by the crippling global ransomware, WannaCry.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said yesterday that a few systems of the Police Department in Andhra Pradesh were impacted and that the state government has been informed to follow the advisory by the CERT-In.

Besides, the Maharashtra Police department said it was partially hit by the ransomware.
Following the alert, the Gujarat government began equipping its state computer systems with anti-virus softwares and upgrading its Microsoft operating systems.

As per the advisory issued by CERT-In, the ransomware infects other computers on the same network and is also spreading through malicious attachments to e-mails. Security firms have suggested that users immediately disconnect the infected device from the local network to contain the spread of infection.
In Spain, major companies including telecommunications firm Telefonica have been infected. The most disruptive attacks were reported in the UK, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.

With Inputs from PTI

 

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