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Govt Says India Not Impacted by Ransomware, Top Security Officer Feels the Pinch

Arunima | CNN-News18 Arunima24

Updated: May 15, 2017, 7:10 PM IST
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Govt Says India Not Impacted by Ransomware, Top Security Officer Feels the Pinch
File photo of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. (Image: Network18)

New Delhi: While the government has been saying that India has not been impacted by the global attack by the ransomware ‘WannaCry’, a top officer struggled to draw money from ATMs post the attack.

The officer, who is a key player in the security apparatus, said he could not withdraw money for two days in a row when he visited his home state over the weekend.

I visited 5-6 ATMs over the weekend in Udaipur and could not withdraw money. Later I read in some papers about the malware attack and realised why the ATMs were unable to dispense money," he told CNN-News18.

However, Minister for Information and Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that India has not been majorly impacted by the ransomware attack.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Ravishankar Prasad said, "There is no major impact in India unlike other foreign 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."

Prasad said that an advisory for this kind of virus attack had been issued on March 15th and steps to guard against such attack has been put in place since then. Prasad reviewed the security mechanism with his ministry officials after news of the ransomware attack came. He said the NIC system, on which most government portals are hosted, was secure and running smoothly. Additional steps are being taken to make the IT system full proof.

Meanwhile, some ATMs across the country are facing a shutdown after the malware attack. The Reserve Bank of India has issued guidelines to banks to update the Windows software on which ATMs are run as ransomware could have affected windows.

Government officials said critical networks across sectors like banking, telecom, power and aviation are on high alert to ensure that systems are protected against the report of cyber-attack on India's vital networks by the crippling global ransomware, 'WannaCry'.

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