NEW DELHI: An estimated figure 200,000 computers are been crippled worldwide the world’s largest ransomware attack that struck on Friday, last week. Experts are of the view that this could only be the tip of the iceberg.
That means an untold number of other infected systems could still be waiting to be discovered when people return to work on Monday and fire up their computers.
The bad part of the news is — at least two new variations of the malware have already been detected.
The India Connect of Ransomware
With hindsight, the Kerala State police now found that it was the “ransomware” cyberattack on Saturday that blocked individual users and government services in the West from accessing information on their respective computers. In another incident, scores of police computers in Andhra Pradesh were hit in the sweeping malware attack that spanned continents.
The police said so far there was no information that any computers or cyber networks in Kerala had been affected by the weaponised software.
It was allegedly stolen from US intelligence’s inventory of top secret cyber tools used to break into or cripple computer networks of the country’s spying targets.
According to a published media report in The Hindu, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is also briefed by the police on the gravity of the attacks, on Saturday warned citizens from opening e-mails from suspicious and anonymous addresses.
Kerala Police Cyberdome, the State law enforcement’s cybercrime research centre, had investigated the ransomware attack on the AIISG in detail to formulate a plan to thwart similar ones on key State services.
The hackers had given the AIISG three days to pay the bitcoin ransom (One bitcoin, a digital currency, is valued at an estimated Rs. 1 lakh), to an e-wallet site.
The attackers listed links from which their target could download the “decryptor” to unlock their computers once the ransom was paid. The police said that more than 16,000 files were locked up. They were successfully decrypted later.