A couple of days ago, a ransomware attack crippled UK’s centralized healthcare system. The attack was thought to have been caused due to a ransomware called Wanna Cry which worked by scrambling all the data in a computer and thus holding it hostage until its owner agreed to pay a particular monetary amount in bitcoin.
The attack was said to have been caused due to by a leak that was being deployed by the National Security Agency. The leak was released by a group called the Shadow Brokers earlier this year and though Microsoft did issue a security patch for the same back in March, obviously not many computers have been updated yet — leaving them vulnerable to being attacked by the ransomware.
Well, it appears as if UK, Italy and Spain are not the only countries affected by the ransomware. The Andhra Pradesh police has recently reported that a sections of its computers were also caught up in the malestorm. Computers across as many as 18 units including those in Chittoor, Krishna, Guntur, Visakhatpatnam and Srikakulam districts were affected by what is believed to a ransomware.
However, the effect was limited and some standalone computers were affected. The problem was prevented from spreading by logging off these computers. Interestingly, only Windows computers appear to have been affected. The police chief deploys a device with the iOS operating system installed and it appear to have escaped unscratched.
Similar to their modus operandi in other countries, the ransomware encrypted data in these police stations and demanded money in bitcoins to restore access to the data. This alone points towards a co-relation between the global attack and this isolated instance in the country. However, offline storage combined with the fact that only a few computers were affected enabled the Andhra police to keep the day to day operations running as usual.
As per Telangana technical computer services incharge Krishna Prasad:
The TS Police website is functioning perfectly. There is no need to panic.