Critical alert issued against WannaCry ransomware threat by CERT-In in India

Following the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware threat which infected hospitals, telecom agencies and shipping companies around the world, India’s cyber security agency alerted internet users and organisations of taking necessary precautions against the malware.

The ransomware is believed to take over computers remotely, locking them down, and demanding a ‘ransom’ to unlock their systems.

The Computer Emergency Response Team of India issued a red-coloured, ‘critical alert’. The CERT-In is the nodal agency to tackle hacking, phishing, and secure defences of the Indian Internet Domain.

“It has been reported that a new ransomware named as Wannacry is spreading widely. Wannacry encrypts the files on infected Windows systems. This ransomware spreads by using a vulnerability in implementations of server message block (SMB) in Windows systems.. This exploit is named as ETERNALBLUE,” an advisory issued by the CERT-In, accessed by PTI, said.

The advisory said the ransomware encrypts the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) of a computer before spreading to other systems on the Local Area Network (LAN). The ransomware also spreads through malicious email attachments, the report said.

On a global scale, WannaCry infected multitudes of systems, holding computer data ransom at hospitals, telecommunication companies and other agencies.

A ransomware is basically a type of malware that blocks access to your computer until ‘ransom’ is paid to the hacker through online channels.

The cyber security agency advised internet users in the country to update their Windows systems to the latest version.

CERT-In added, “individuals or organisations are not encouraged to pay the ransom as this does not guarantee files will be released.”

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