Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Phone scam claiming to provide WannaCry ransomware supports

"There have been isolated incidents in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh", Union information and technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Indian computer systems largely escaped a global ransomware attack as the government and companies installed security patches to gain an upper hand against the first wave of an unrivalled global cyber-attack.

GSTN, the company set up to provide the IT infrastructure for GST rollout, will not be impacted by the WannaCry ransomware attack as its systems do not run on Microsoft software, its CEO Prakash Kumar said. This ongoing attack not only had minimum, but almost zero per cent impact, in India. "As per the information received so far, there have been isolated incidents in limited areas in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh", Prasad told reporters here. We are keeping a close watch.

"Concerted efforts to tackle cyber crimes have been hindered by the actions of the United States", it said, adding that Washington had "no credible evidence" to support bans on Chinese tech firms in the United States following the attack.

Officials who opened the computer at the Thariyode panchayat office in the hilly district of Wayanad found that four of their computers had been hacked. Besides, the cyber security arm of the Centre has asked banks, stock exchanges, and other vital institutions to safeguard their systems against the malware.

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The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in a statement said it has activated a "preparedness and response mechanism" by instructing CERT-In to gather information on this attack.

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the us military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.

IT majors Infosys and Wipro told The Hindu that they have not been affected as their systems are robust and they constantly monitor threats. The ransomware takes over users' files, demanding 300 dollars to restore them.

"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".

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