ATMs Shut Down All Over Fearing Ransomware Attack
New Delhi: Adding to the woes of citizens due to lack of cash in many ATMs, the Indian government has shut down some more ATMs across the country as a preventive measure against the ransomware attacks. Reports said that India was among the worst affected countries from the Wanna Cry ransomware attack.
Ministry of Home Affairs sources said that some ATMS were closed down as a preventive step across the country amidst concerns about the virus attack. The Ministry officials are closely monitoring the situation.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued an advisory asking all banks to put in place software update at ATMs to prevent the systems from a malware that attacked payment systems across the world. However, it clarified that they did not direct any bank to shut down their ATMs.
RBI spokesperson clarifying that the RBI has not given any direction to banks to shut down their ATMs, said, “Wrong information is floating around that RBI has instructed banks to shut down ATMs.”
It is not new for the ATMs in the country to get impacted by the malware. Last year, in a different malware attack, 3.2 lakh debit cards were compromised in the country. Last year during May, June and July data of the users who transacted from ATMs of Hitachi were compromised.
According to reports, ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are highly vulnerable to such malware attacks as they are still running an old version of Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. This makes software security update important.
Of the 2.2 lakh ATMs in the country, many old ones run on Windows XP.
Meanwhile, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India has not been much affected by the ransomware.
“Kerala and Andhra Pradesh have been affected partly. We are keeping a close eye on the situation and strengthening our cyber system,” he said.
Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) released a list of do’s and don’ts and webcast on how to protect networks from the global ransomware attack.
The new ransomware Wanna Cry encrypts the files on infected Windows system and spread by exploiting vulnerabilities. The Cyber criminals are demanding a fee of about USD 300 in Bitcoins for unlocking affected devices.
Microsoft has introduced a security patch to tackle the situation, and consumers across the globe have been advised to download the solution at the earliest.
Meanwhile, reports said that CERT-In had not received any formal report of a cyber attack on India’s vital networks by ransomware.