PALAKKAD: The WannaCry ransomware disrupted 23 computers at the Palakkad divisional railway office (Southern Railway) here on Tuesday.
The official spokesman of the Railways said train operations and ticket booking process were not affected since the computers were used only for clerical purposes and were not connected to the official network.
Railways’ cyber experts said the attack would have been caused by the inadvertent use of pen drive or other such devices by the employees.
A Railways statement said the virus was first noticed at 1 p.m in 23 out of the 500 computers in the office. The affected systems flashed the warning message saying unless ransom money was paid through Bitcoin in the stipulated time the whole data would be deleted.
The Railways said data were stored in these systems in word documents, excel worksheets and in jpeg mode. Since the computers belonged to the personnel department, data loss would be limited to matters pertaining to appointments, transfers, promotions, etc. The officers data have already been stored in the main server with hardcopy back-up.
They said steps have been taken to protect the remaining systems strengthening the intranet security at the zonal level. The salary details and bill claims of staff are stored in systems that use operating systems like SUN, LINUX and SOLARIS - interfaces immune to security threats.
Cyber attack not to affect panchayats’ functioning
The functions of panchayats would not be affected by the cyber attack on some of the computers, said Minister for Local Self- Governments K T Jaleel on Tuesday. He said he had directed the Principal Secretary of the department and officers of Information Kerala Mission to report on the malware attacks reported on Monday.
The report would include inconvenience caused to public due to loss of data if any. The virus-affected computers have been isolated and measures taken to format them. The Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) has given detailed instructions on its website to deal with the cyber attack. The public can download the software patch for Windows operating system to remove vulnerability of their computers.