Ransomware attack is just the tip of the iceberg and a fraction of the problem, says senior advocate and cyber law expert Abhay Nevagi at a press conference organised by ANA Cyber Forensic. He also added that though we don’t take our cyber security seriously, the common man need not fear this attack that has affected organisations in over 150 countries.
Spreading awareness about this, Chirayu Mahajan, a cyber forensic expert, said that ransomware attacks have been happening for years but the recent Wannacry attack has created the most unlikely problems.
“Ransomware is a malicious virus that gets installed on systems and locks all the files within that system, denying you any access to your private information.”
Wannacry affects the whole network and all the devices on that network. This attack has mostly affected Microsoft operating systems that run below Windows 10. Wannacry is specially designed to hack into systems running on Windows. Once your device is hacked, a page pops up that demands the user to pay $300 using Bitcoins. The price doubles every two days.”
Many can fall prey to this through opening attachments or downloading music, movies and other software illegally using torrents. This attack has affected over 200,000 systems worldwide on May 13. In India, companies in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai have been affected. Around 102 computer systems of Andhra Pradesh police were hacked. Adding to this, Advocate Vikram Chowdhary explained that the hackers used Bitcoin as the method of payment since Bitcoin wallet-owners remain anonymous..
“When you use a Bitcoin to transfer money, you have to have a Bitcoin wallet. These wallets have a certain code which cannot be interpreted. You can’t trace any transactions taking place here.”
Over 70 per cent of ATMs in India run on Windows XP. The Reserve Bank of India has ordered all the ATMs to be upgraded with new systems. Anticipating such an attack, Microsoft had released patches for operating systems running below Windows 10. These patches would update all the systems working on older versions of Windows.
Wannacry has mainly affected big corporations that deal in heavier transactions so it has not affected the common man. But, explains advocate Chowdhary, the human firewall can be used t prevent any hacking attempts.
“You have to be sure that you have an anti-virus installed and be careful while opening attachments coming through random emails. Your system should be updated.”
Can an attack like this protect information of people that has been stored through the Aadhar card facility? “An attack like this is unlikely to have affected the Aadhar database especially since there are multiple protocols. It cannot happen,” states Chowdhary.