Four computers in a panchayat office in Kerala’s Wayanad were on Monday reportedly infected by the worldwide cyberattack of WannaCry ransomware or the ransomware cyber attack.
According to the authorities at the panchayat office, a message appeared on their computer screen saying their filed had been encrypted and that in order to recover them they would have to pay.
The message reportedly also warned that if they don’t make the payment in bitcoins within three days, the price would be doubled. It also said that if the payment is not done in seven days, the files will be deleted.
“On Friday evening, the officers present felt there was some virus as the systems were getting slow. Since it was time to leave, the officers shut down the system and thought they would check it on Monday. Today when they came to office, they saw the message. The systems have details related to property tax and panchayat accounts,” said a panchayat office official.
Nodal officer of Kerala Police Cyberdome, IG Manoj Abraham said, “Looking at the message we think it is a ransomware attack. We have sent our team to confirm the same. The four computers were networked, so they are already affected."
Earlier on Monday, the RBI gave clear directives to banks to operate their ATM networks post the machines receiving a Windows update to protect them from a cyber attack impacting systems across the world.
The directive were made by the apex bank in response to the WannaCry ransomware that posed a threat to the computer systems across the world locking up critical data and demanding bitcoins as ransom for its release. ATM machines are seen as being vulnerable since almost all of them run on Windows software.
ATM machines are seen as being vulnerable targets since almost all of them run on Windows software. Also over 60% of the 2.25 lakh ATMs in the country run on the outdated Windows XP.
Microsoft has, however, issued a statement saying that it has developed and released a special update for Windows XP although this particular version of its operating system is no longer serviced by the company.