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WannaCry Hits West Bengal Power Company

The WBSEDCL serves around 8.5 lakhs households and efforts are on for an alternative arrangement for billing process.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:May 15, 2017, 11:40 PM IST
WannaCry Hits West Bengal Power Company
Representative image.

Kolkata: The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) reportedly was attacked by global ransomware, ‘WannaCry, which encrypts the files on the target system and makes them inaccessible to users until a ransom is paid.

The cyberattack was reported in WBSEDCL’s office in West Midnapore. Employees at WBSEDCL became suspicious after they failed to access billing internet-linked sites at Belda, Dantal, Narayangarh and in Keshiyari areas in West Midnapore.

“One of our employees in West Midnapore tried to access data when a window popped up saying that it can only be accessed after a ransom of $300 was paid,” a WBSEDCL official said, adding that pop-up said that the ransom could be made through Bitcoin gateway.

“The pop-up said the payment can be made through the Bitcoin gateway with an account number. Initially we thought it could be some server issue. But after going through the warning, we were sure it’s WannaCry,” said the official, on account of anonymity.

State power minister Sovandeb Chatterjee immediately asked the managing director of WBSEDCL Rajesh Pandey to engage cyber experts to tackle the issue. “It looks like WannaCry. We are looking into it and all precautionary measures will be taken,” he told News18.

The WBSEDCL serves around 8.5 lakhs households and efforts are on for an alternative arrangement for billing process.

The ransomware, known as WannaCry or WanaCrypt0r 2.0, locked up the files on computers across 2 dozen countries and asked the users for a ransom in exchange of access to their own files.

The large-scale attack hit NHS hospitals across London, delivery giant FedEx, Spanish Telecom firm Telefonica, Japan’s Nissan Motor Co, German Deutsche Bahn rail network and more such firms.

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| Edited by: Nakshab Khan
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