India not much affected by global malware attack yet: Ravi Shankar Prasad


After the WannaCry outbreak earlier this year, ransomware is becoming a routine risk for businesses around the world.

"We can confirm that Maersk's IT systems are down across multiple geographies and business units due to a cyber-attack".

The Ministry of Shipping and JNPT have got onto the front foot trying to contain the disruption in operations at one of the port terminals in the wake of the latest malware attack.

While the terminal operator is taking steps to address the issue, it is anticipated that there could be bunching of in-bound and out-bound container cargo, it said. The Gateway Terminal India facility could not track shipments and link them to their destinations either.

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The attack is being carried out by the Petya virus, with users being told to pay US$300 (RM1,289) in cryptocurrency per infected computer to unlock their systems.

The ransomware attacks that have been experienced over the past year are increasingly making it clear the ease with which attackers are becoming a regular thing in almost all nations.

Chief Commissioner of Customs (Nava Sheva) John Joseph said, "It is a fact that GTIs server was under attack but our Customs servers are robust and we well prepared to tackle any such attack". Some western countries, including the U.S., reported incidents of the attack as well.

India's shipping ministry said it was "alive to the situation and are taking steps to ensure minimum disturbance to trade, transporters and more importantly local citizens". Sea Containers, the London building that houses WPP and agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, has been shut down, another person said.

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A senior JNPT official told the media, "We have been informed that the operations at GTI have come to a standstill because their systems are down (due to the malware attack)".

He said any response would take time to implement given the large volume of traffic handled by the port.

Security researchers have discovered a "vaccine" for the huge cyber-attack that hit organisations across the world yesterday. Ukraine's worldwide airport was also dealing with the attack. Microsoft released a patch to protect systems from the exploit in March.

The current attacks come weeks after the Wannacry ransomware attack, which affected systems of many companies.

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The attack had hit Ukraine particularly hard and the intrusion was "the biggest in Ukraine's history", Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to the Interior Ministry, wrote on Facebook. Kyivenergo, a Ukrainian utility, switched off all computers after the hack, while another power company, Ukrenergo, was also affected, the Interfax news service reported.