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Global ransomware attack reaches India; Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai affected

The ransomware encrypts a system's hard disk, denies user access, and demands $300 ransom in return.

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It’s barely been a month since the the world had to deal with WannaCry, and now another global ransomware has hit the globe. The breed of the virus is still being speculated, with many bets being placed on GoldenEye, while reports suggest that Petya could be behind it. While at the beginning the attacks were concentrated in Ukraine, in just few hours of it being detected, the programme has now been noted to be spreading like fire and has reached India too.

According to Bloomberg, a terminal operated by AP Moller-Maersk at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai, which is also India’s biggest container port, reported being unable to load or unload because of the attack. The publication attributed confirmation to the shipping ministry of India. Because of the attacks, the Gateway Terminal India was unable to identify which shipment belonged to whom. The attack is believed to be carried out by the Petya virus.

Since the virus was detected in its systems, the port has been trying to clear containers manually, but operational capacity has dropped to a third at the terminal, Anil Diggikar, chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) told Reuters. “This is fallout of global cyber attack. We are hopeful that operations will normalize in a day,” he said. Containers are piling up outside the port due to delay in loading and unloading at Gateway Terminals India, he said. ALSO READ: After WannaCry, another ransomware program is spreading globally

Beside the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mihir Modi, a Twitter user too posted last evening that all computers in his office were down with the virus.

https://twitter.com/mihirmodi/status/879678870471024640

Another user in India, Ankit Singh reported a similar complaint.

https://twitter.com/ankit5934/status/879681380686340096

The attack, which is similar to WannCry, has severely affected computers at government of Ukraine, its national bank, transportation services and some of its largest power companies. Like any ransomware program, the virus creeps in your system and encrypts the entire hard drive and denies the user access to the computer. After the encryption process is complete, the ransomware has a specialized routine that forcefully crashes the computer to trigger a reboot that renders the computer unusable until the $300 ransom is paid. Reportedly, Petya operators have already received more than 13 payments till now.

The spread of the attack into Asia shows how ransomware is turning into a regular risk of doing business now. Post WannaCry, banks and retailers have strengthened their defenses, however, many others are still catching up in guarding against ransomware. According to Kaspersky Lab analysts, about 2,000 users have been attacked as of midday in North America, with organizations in Russia and the Ukraine the most affected.

“With there being no global kill switch for this one, we’ll continue to see the numbers rise in different parts of the world as more vulnerable systems become more exposed,” said Beau Woods, deputy director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council in Washington told BloombergALSO READ: Before WannaCry and Judy, these 5 malware attacks wreaked havoc globally

  • Published Date: June 28, 2017 11:39 AM IST