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Obey CERT-In advice on WannaCry: RBI to banks

Obey CERT-In advice on WannaCry: RBI to banks
RBI has asked banks to follow the instructions of government organisation CERT-In to prevent the attack by ransomware, 'WannaCry', which has impacted various IT networks in over 150 countries.

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has come out with list of dos and don'ts and webcast on how to protect networks from the global ransomware attack.

It has been reported that a new ransomware 'WannaCry' is spreading widely, RBI advisory to the banks said.

Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows system and spreads by exploiting vulnerabilities, it said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also asked all banks to put in place a software update at ATMs to prevent their systems from a malware that has attacked payment systems across the world.

In a separate malware attack last year, 3.2 lakh debit card were compromised in the country. Data of the users who transacted from ATM machines of Hitachi were compromised during three months of May, June and July last year. The Hitachi ATMs deployed by many White Label ATM players and Yes Bank were impacted by the malware.

According to reports Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are highly vulnerable to such malware attacks as they presently run on old version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, making a software security patch update a necessary exercise.

There are a total of 2.2 lakh ATMs in India, of which many old ones run on Windows XP.

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 $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 on Monday 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 on Sunday 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.

Power Grid Corp puts firewalls; no power outages due to Ransomware

Central transmission utility Power Grid on Monday said it has put sufficient firewalls to deal with the global cyber attack Ramsomware and consumers need not fear sudden outages on that account.

Power Grid's top brass deliberated on the strategy to deal with the Ransomware, a malicious software that infects computers and restricts user access until ransom is paid for unlocking them.

"Since the Power Grid operations are information technology based, the issue was discussed in detail at a meeting of board members chaired by Chairman and Managing Director I S Jha," a senior official said.

The official said instructions have already been issued to the employees not to open certain mails or download material which can infect our system.

"There are reports that it has affected certain sectors like banks. But in our case we have put sufficient firewalls to deal with the situation to protect our system," he said.

Earlier, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology had said that multiple cases of WannaCry/WannaCrypt ransomware infections in many countries around the world have been reported recently.

It said: "In India, no reports have been formally received so far regarding this Ransomware attack. However, it is understood that a few systems of the Police Department in Andhra Pradesh were impacted. The ministry has informed Andhra Pradesh Government, to follow the CERT-In advisory."

Meanwhile, European and British policing and security agencies have warned that the fallout from an unprecedented global cyber attack which has hit more than 200,000 victims could worsen as people return to work.

An international manhunt was under way for the plotters behind the world's biggest-ever computer ransom assault which has affected more than 150 countries. The virus exploits a flaw in a version of Microsoft Windows first identified by US intelligence.

The attacks exploited the computers because they were running outdated versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system.


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