The largest global cyber attack has affected around 1,30,000 Windows computers in more than 100 countries.
The recent global cyber attack encrypting millions of computers with a ransomware has affected over 100 systems of the Andhra Pradesh police. The cyber attack is claimed to be the largest in the world and has affected more than 100 countries since Friday.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has confirmed the attack on the computers of Andhra police. "We held an assessment meeting today and have found that 102 systems of Andhra Police have been infected with ransomware, particularly those using the Windows operating system," said Gulshan Rai, Director General, CERN-In. He also added that the ransomware could spread on several other office computers as well, which could be known only when the offices re-open on Monday. The CERN experts are trying to debug the hacked systems as of now.
According to cyber security company F-Secure, India and Russia have been hit largely because of a majority of computer systems running on the old Windows XP operating system, which is no longer supported by Microsoft when it comes to security support. The ransomware is affecting computers running on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8 operating systems.
The ransomware has affected various computer systems in the banking and hospitality sectors. Several Russian banks, a British hospital and French car maker Renault’s factories have been hit hard by the ransomware.
The ransomware called WannaCry locks up files on computers and encrypts them in a way that it does not allow the user to access them anymore. It has been identified as an old variant of a ransomware that exploited a known bug in Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Hackers tricked victims into opening the malicious malware attachment to spam emails that appeared to contain invoice, job offers, security warnings and other legitimate files.
When a Windows operating system is affected by the malicious software, a pop-up window appears giving a detailed explanation on ransomware and ways to recover it by paying a ransom amount of $300 (Rs 19,252) in Bitcoin. On the left, the pop-up window also features two countdown clocks, one showing a three-day deadline before the amount doubles to $600 and another showing a deadline when the victim will lose all his data.
Microsoft has released a detection and protection program against the malicious software. Windows users around the world are advised to exercise caution regarding suspicious e-mails and requested to update their antivirus programs.