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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Tirupati temple, Andhra Pradesh secretariat hit by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack

Ransomware is a virus which penetrates into a network from a single infected computer locking files in its wake and demands a ransom of $300 in Bitcoin virtual currency to unlock systems.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2017 15:25 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
A screenshot shows a WannaCry ransomware demand, provided by cyber security firm Symantec, in Mountain View, California on May 15.
A screenshot shows a WannaCry ransomware demand, provided by cyber security firm Symantec, in Mountain View, California on May 15.(Reuters)

The malicious “WannaCry” ransomware virus, which has paralysed computers across the world, has also hit the systems at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), one of the richest Hindu shrines in the world.

The breach took place on Wednesday.

According to official sources, as many as 30 computer systems were found to be affected by the virus. “However, all these systems belong to the administration wing of TTD and were attended to by the engineers of the IT department immediately,” TTD official spokesman T Ravi told Hindustan Times.

He said there was no impact on the hardware or software related to the pilgrim services of the TTD, including online booking for darshan, accommodation, prasadam and offerings to the Lord.

“The IT experts ensured that none of the systems pertaining to pilgrim services was affected by the Wannacry virus. Even those systems affected in the administration wing were also old systems and there was a back-up data. By evening, the experts could isolate these systems and retrieve the data,” Ravi said.

TTD executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal held an emergency meeting with IT experts and all department heads and discussed the possible impact of the malware affecting the systems. However, the authorities assured him that there was no major loss to any of the systems in the TTD.

Meanwhile, there were reports that at least 20 computer systems in Andhra Pradesh secretariat in Amaravati were affected by ransomware attack. Blocks 4 and 5, mostly in the Revenue department, were hit by the virus on Wednesday.

However, the IT department staff swung into action and managed to save the data from crashing. They could retrieve the lost data and re-write the CDs to clear the virus. Wherever necessary new hard disks would be installed, sources said.

The IT department was also briefing officials of various departments on the measures to be taken to protect their systems from hacking. On May 13, a section of computers of the Andhra Pradesh Police Department were affected by the global cyberattack.

First Published: May 18, 2017 12:11 IST

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