Ransomware attack: 120 computers of Gujarat govt’s IT network hit by virus
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Ransomware attack: 120 computers of Gujarat govt’s IT network hit by virus

Computers in different state government departments, including district collectorates and transport offices, linked to the Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN) were affected.

india Updated: May 16, 2017 10:05 IST
A screenshot shows a WannaCry ransomware demand, provided by cyber security firm Symantec.(REUTERS)

Around 120 computers connected to the Gujarat government’s information technology network were hit by ransomware virus Wannacry though no “valuable” data was compromised, a government official said.

“As per our information, so far the virus has affected around 120 computers in different government departments linked to the Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN),” said science and technology department secretary Dhananjay Dwivedi.

“But none of the affected computers has any valuable data or important information that could adversely impact the government’s functioning,” said Dwivedi.

Many computers linked to district collectorates across the state were affected by the virus even though no major data loss was reported.

Following the attack, computers that were functioning were shut down as precautionary measure, crippling the work, the officials said.

Six computers at the Mehsana district collectorate were affected by the ransomware virus with a message on the screen saying that the data of the computer has been “encrypted” and one will have to pay a certain amount in bitcoins to get the data back, an official of the National Informatics Centre said.

Mehsana collector Alok Pandey said that following the attack, all computers connected to the district collectorate were shut down as precautionary measure.

“All computers have been shut down after the attack was reported in some computers. These were the computers operating independently and there is no data loss as such due to the attack,” said Pandey.

Several collectorates across the state reported instances of computers getting affected by the virus.

At least three computers of the Jamnagar Regional Transport Office were also affected by the virus, leading to shutting down of the RTO’s entire operation.

The computers which were linked to the works related to the registration certificate books were affected by the virus, which sent out the message that the data have been encrypted, said FU Jakhra, the assistant RTO.

The affected computers, however, were not linked to GSWAN network, and were being handled by a private agency, added Jakhra.

The state’s Crime Records Bureau (CRB) issued advisory for the police stations and public to take precautionary measures to prevent the attack and said reports have been sought from individual police stations where computers were affected by the virus.

“We have sought reports from police stations on what kind of problem they have faced with their computer with regards to data. We will analyse the report and take corrective actions accordingly,” said Ashok Kumar, superintendent of police (CRB).

Meanwhile, anti-virus software was being installed and operating system upgraded in computers connected to GSWAN to prevent such hacking attacks.

First Published: May 16, 2017 10:04 IST