Cyber security professionals worked round the clock over the weekend, trying to protect corporate clients against what experts are calling the biggest ransomware attack ever, before they open for business Monday morning.
A malicious piece of software that blocks access to computers until money is paid, ransomware WannaCry is said to have swamped machines in over 150 countries, including India. The hackers, who go by the name Shadow Brokers, are demanding $300 in virtual currency Bitcoin to unblock access to a user’s files and had reportedly received over $25,000 till Saturday morning.
India is among the most vulnerable because a large number of organisations and individuals still rely on older, outdated versions of the Windows operating system. The country also has the highest number of pirated software users.
So far, those impacts include systems of the Andhra Pradesh police, four manufacturing companies, two retailers, the India operations of a multinational, two banks and the Chennai facility of an automaker, as per a report.
How did it spread so fast?
The ransomware is hidden within the word documents, PDFs and other files which are generally sent via an email, or through secondary infection on computers already affected by viruses that offer a backdoor for further attacks!