IT companies in Bengaluru on high alert over WannaCry ransomware

Firms race against time to update their security systems, many declare one or two-day holiday for employees.
WannaCry ransomware
WannaCry ransomware

BENGALURU: In the wake of the ransomware attack triggered by WannaCry virus, IT firms in Bengaluru are racing against time to updating their security systems. At some firms, employees have been asked to stay away from work for a few hours, while many other companies have declared holiday for a day or two for their employees.

Sources said IT teams in many firms are working overtime to ensure such attacks do not harm their systems. Employees have been communicated to be aware of unsolicited emails and were asked to stay away from work at a few places where the security systems update was in progress.

A network engineer of a secondary source software firm, who provides security solutions, said, “We were asked to work on weekend and monitor the servers. The monitoring process is likely to continue. Some of the outsourcing companies have declared holiday as network engineers are flooded with work.”
“Recent developments have affected work at IT firms but there is no report of any company getting affected,” a techie said.

Wipro Ltd officials told Express: “Wipro has not seen any impact. However, we remain vigilant and have strengthened security controls at all layers to detect and mitigate any such threat.”

Companies providing financial technology are struggling to ensure that all ATMs are running on updated software. “We are in touch with the original equipment manufacturers for the patches that may be required to be rolled out on the ATMs running on Windows XP and Windows 7, to make them additionally secure,” said Radha Rama Dorai (Country Head - ATM & Allied Services), FIS, a financial technology provider.
“Fortunately ATMs in India have not been affected by WannaCry ransomware,” said Dorai.

Sudesh Shetty, Partner, Forensics, KPMG in India, said: “Banks need to apply the patch which Windows has released for outdated operating systems. Organisations need to make use of it.”

WannaCry under reported

The Indian Cyber Army sources said that there has been under reporting of such incidents as many individuals use pirated version of the Windows software. Also, people have no idea whom to report if they fall prey to WannaCry.

Pranesh Prakash, Policy Director at the Centre for Internet and Society, said, “Approaching the police after your machine is infected won’t help. It is best to take precautionary steps like taking regular back-ups on a hard drive and keeping the software and operating system up-to-date.

Virus attack in Shivamogga?

A computer science lecturer in Shivamogga reportedly fell prey to WannaCry. Arjun told Express that he had used his laptop on May 15. “When I opened the laptop on Tuesday, I was shocked to see the ransomware message on the screen,” he said. “All the data in the laptop was encrypted and there were no confidential files,” he said. Due to the same, he said he did not file a complaint.

Another private computer of a veterinary department staff being attacked by a virus was reported from Hirekerur. However, the ransomware attack was not confirmed in both the cases.

No incident reported from Bengaluru: CERT

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said, “The calls on helpline have rapidly increased after the news of WannaCry ransomware attack. There have been five to six complaints across the country and none were from Bengaluru. In some  cases, it was individuals and also few private firms. Rest of them were just query calls.” “We have already alerted the RBI, bank officials, chief information and technology officers of state and Central agencies to take precautionary measures,” CERT said.

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The New Indian Express