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WannaCry Ransomware Attacks in India Are Fewer Than Imagined

The impact of WannaCry on India has been reported to be relatively less than its Western counterparts. 

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The government on Monday said there was no serious impact in the country due to a global ransomware cyberattack, except for a few isolated incidents in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

Ravi Shankar Prasad said the systems run by the National Informatics Centre were secured and running smoothly. And that’s a good thing.

There is no major impact in India, unlike other countries. We are keeping a close watch. As per the information received so far, there have been isolated incidents in limited areas in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh
Ravi Shankar Prasad, IT Minister

Cyber security experts like Saket Modi have joined the chorus in highlighting that the ransomware impact in the country has not been as devastating as predicted. His firm received queries from companies in the finance and banking sector, but nothing that raises alarm.

We have seen the results on-ground and it is not a big issue. Over 70% of the attacks have been in Russia.  
Saket Modi, Co-Founder and CEO, Lucideus 
It doesn’t seem like India was the primary target of the hackers who released the WannaCry ransomware. 
Pradipto Chakrabarty, Regional Director, CompTIA India
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Reports suggest that over two lakh systems globally could have been infected by the malicious software.

Also Read: World Braces for More Ransomware Attacks As Work Week Begins

India's cyber security unit CERT-In earlier said it has not received any formal report of cyberattack on India's vital networks.

Everything seems to be normal, so far. No reports have come to CERT-In. We have been in touch with Microsoft and others, even they have not got any reports
Sanjay Bahl, Director General, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)

Experts also feel that India’s lack of digital footprint could have resulted in fewer incidents, or worse, companies might have just decided against reporting the attack. More paperwork and less digital data means hackers have less to gain from.

But all this optimism comes with a word of caution, when the WannaCry ransomware is already on the verge evolving to newer versions.

Hackers are professional dacoits who work round the clock to make this ransomware that enters your PC and lets them access your data. Rest assured, they are working on an improved version of ransomware as we speak
Pradipto Chakrabarty, Regional Director, CompTIA India
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Banks and ATMs Hit?

With banking sector most likely to be on the radar of the hackers, most people want to know if the ATMs in the country are going to be hit with the ransomware, or not. And going by what Saket has to say, the ATMs even running with Windows XP are not in big danger, at least for now.

The security solution providers for ATMs are not directly in danger from the ransomware, which only hits if you download a file. 
Saket Modi, Co-Founder and CEO, Lucideus

He also adds that unlike other sectors, where programs and softwares are blacklisted, ATMs providers resort to having a whitelist of solutions that can enter the machine. Any program entering into the system without being part of that list, gets reported, Saket highlighted.

However, word of caution has been sounded out. If any bank staff ends up clicking on unsolicited mails on the bank’s network, that could end up hurting the entire organisation. So let’s hope it doesn’t come down to a basic human error that causes mass disruption to the banking and finance sector in India.

(With PTI and Reuters inputs)

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