- Ransomware is malicious software that is capable of blocking access to your computer system until you pay a sum of money.
- WannaCry that has been creating havoc is a type of ransomware.
- It not only demands the ransom amount but also is a worm that spreads to other computers.
To begin with, let's understand what's a ransomware - it is malicious software that is capable of blocking access to your computer system until you pay a sum of money or a ransom amount.
So, WannaCry, that has been creating havoc is a type of ransomware that doesn't let you access your system anymore. It encrypts your files and demands a payment in bitcoin to grant you access to your system. There is also the possibility of demanding more money without granting access once you cough up the sum.
However, it is quite dangerous as WannaCry not only demands the ransom amount but also is a worm that spreads to other computers. Ransomware undergoes changes finding different ways to enter your system and even works around to get through patches.
WannaCry is exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows. It has had far reaching effects, affecting over 100 countries, and India is said to be the third most affected country. It has already begun spreading in several parts of the country. There are reports about over 100 Andhra Pradesh Police computers being affected by the ransomware Similarly, Nissan Renault Alliance plant around Chennai has stopped production, owing to WannaCry. Kerala Police Cyberdome has issued an alert to individuals and organisations in the state against the crippling global ransomware attack WannaCry.
The Indian government, that has been pushing for a digital services, has started taking steps to curb the widespread of the issue. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has put up an advisory and MeiTy has reached out to key stakeholders like RBI, National Payments Corporation of India, NIC and UIDAI (Aadhaar) to advise them to protect their systems against 'WannaCry' ransomware to ensure that the digital payments ecosystem in the country is protected
The RBI has directed banks to operate their ATM networks only after machines receive a Windows update to protect them from a malware. What's shocking is almost 70 percent of ATMs in India are believed to be at risk due to the Windows vulnerability, and 60 percent still run outdated Windows XP. With services gone online, it puts a lot at risk for various sectors like healthcare, finance and so on.
As a user, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim by ensuring you don't click on any unknown link or suspicious email. Microsoft has also released updates fixing the issue.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:38 PM IST