The WannaCry Ransomware is making people and organizations cry all over the world for the past few days. What started as a sudden attack has spread to 150 countries and is creating havoc everywhere. We already know the important things and how it doesn’t affect smartphones.
Out of that 150 countries, India is also one of them. But fortunately, the impact is not as widespread until now. Government and most big companies have already swung into action. So let’s take a look at the current scenario surrounding this attack in our country.
Computer Security in India
Frankly speaking, we don’t acknowledge Digital Security as an important thing and majority of the people don’t even know what are the basic safe web practices.
Our Government departments, institutions, banks and many other small organizations and companies do not spend on cyber security. Keeping all this in mind it’s surprising and fortunate that we are not hit that hard.
But not all are safe. There are few instances of people having fallen prey to the attack. Like this guy on Reddit. No major organizations have reported any attack but there is a report that West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company has been affected.
Moreover QuickHeal Tech has detected about 48,000 cases of individual hits with the firm receiving 700 calls till now regarding the same.
Banks & ATMs at Risk
The major big institutions that are most vulnerable are the Financial units. They include the Public Sector Banks and the ATM network of the country. If they are hit, then the damage could prove very costly.
Already over 70% of the ATMs in the country run on the outdated Windows XP, so these seem to be the at most risk.
Last year, we also saw a major breach in the ATM network which led to the compromise of about 3.2 million debit cards of SBI, HDFC, Yes Bank etc. There are also some unconfirmed rumors that a leading private sector bank has been affected in a small way.
Briefing By CERT
If you didn’t know, India has the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team(CERT) which monitors cyber security in India and issues frequent advisories and security alerts on various vulnerabilities, cyber-attacks and other events of national cyber-security importance.
They have issued a useful, informative and lengthy release on the latest attack detailing on the whats and hows of ransomware. You can read it by going to their website > Advisories. Plus they have also posted a video about it.
Precautions to Take in India
Below I have mentioned some of the precautions one needs to take, in context with Indian habits.
Update your PC right now. Like now now. Many people are averse to upgrading their PCs to the latest Windows. If you are on Windows XP or Windows 7, you are the most vulnerable of the lot. If an upgrade to Windows 10 is not possible, then at-least install the security update Microsoft released to guard against this attack.
Do not click on any unknown attachment even if the email is from a known sender. If in doubt, verify with the sender about the content. Rouge attachments are the most common way in which this virus is spreading.
Do not visit any questionable websites. It’s a bitter truth that many of us do not pay for digital content like songs and movies and often resort to file sharing sites & torrents. If possible, avoid visiting such sites for few days as a single (and erroneous) click on Yes to install an extension from a rogue pop up will cost you dearly.
Similar on the lines of Windows update, many of us do not update anti-virus, or worse don’t have one. So update is as soon as possible or get one.
Take extra precaution while using your work PCs as this virus can rapidly spread through intranet (LAN). A small mistake can end up costing dearly to your employer.
Do not use any ATMs which are displaying this screen.
And lastly do not spread any false rumors unknowingly by forwarding Whatsapp forwards without verifying them. This does not help anybody and adds even more to the confusion.
For more information, our GT Hindi video will explain everything.
Be safe and be alert. If you have thoughts, doubts or view, share with us through comments.