Cyber Attack: No serious impact in India due to ransomware, says Prasad

We are keeping a close watch. A cyber coordination centre to take precautions against such attacks would start operations by June.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) should shoulder some blame for the attack, which targets vulnerabilities in Microsoft Corp systems and has infected some 30,000 Chinese organizations as of Saturday, the China Daily said. In India, only a few isolated incidents in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were reported. He said the malware exploits a weakness in the operating system to spread from computer to computer. There were also reports from Bengal that the virus had infected around 10 standalone computers in the offices of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company in three blocks - Belda, Datan and Narayangarh in West Midnapore district. Despite its age and obsolescence, Windows XP was still used on more than 7% of PCs around the world as of April, according to NetMarketShare data charted for us by Statista.

The ransomware locks up the computer with the group which carried out the attack asking for $300 payment in bitcoins to send an unlock key. India's cyber security unit CERT-In said it has received formal reports of just five "incidents" across locations like Delhi and Tamil Nadu. It has attacked hundreds of thousands of computers, security experts say, from hospital systems in the United Kingdom and a telecom company in Spain to universities and large companies in Asia.

The agency said it was yet to get official notification on any attacks in India from the malware that encrypts files and demands a ransom to decrypt them.

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. The real impact of cyber attack in India can be only assessed later this week.

Hackers possibly used techniques stolen from the US National Security Agency to encrypt files within affected computers, making them inaccessible, and demanded Dollars 300 ransom.

"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".