India's cyber security agency CERT-IN has sounded a high alert for internet users against the menace of a strong and globally active ransomware virus- 'Wannacry'-that critically infects computers and locks them remotely.
A critical alert has been issued by the Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In), the country's nodal agency to combat hacking, phishing and to fortify security- related defences of the Indian Internet domain.
It has been reported that a new ransomware named as Wannacry is spreading widely. Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows systems. This exploit is named ETERNALBLUE, the CERT-In advisory states. It said the ransomware called 'WannaCry' or 'WannaCrypt' encrypts the computer's hard disk drive and then spreads laterally between computers on the same local area network (LAN).
The ransomware also spreads through malicious attachments to emails, it said. The cyber agency advised users to apply patches to their Windows systems in order to prevent its infection and spread. The ransomware virus is such lethal and smart that it also drops a file named '!Please Read Me!.txt' which contains the text explaining what has happened to the computer and how to pay the ransom.
'WannaCry' encrypts files with the following extensions, appending .WCRY to the end of the file name like .lay6. The anti-ransomware measures recommended by CERTIn are : Do not open attachments in unsolicited emails even if they come from people in your contact list and never click on a URL contained in an unsolicited email, even if the link seems benign.