Bhopal: Recent massive cyber-attack by malware called ‘ransomware’ which affected computer systems of nearly 120 countries, including India, has taken a toll in Bhopal too. City based cyber-security experts have claimed that around 300 computers, including 30 of a national engineering institute, have been affected. “The Ransomware attack has been severe in city. The users cannot access data stored in their infected systems until they pay ransom in virtual currency known as Bitcoin,” said city based cyber-security expert Hemraj Singh Chouhan while speaking to Free Press.
Another Bhopal based cyber-security expert, on condition of anonymity, said that in the recent wave Ransomware attack across the world, at least 30 computers of a national level institute of engineering were affected. All data has become inaccessible to the users. “The victim institute said that 30 computers have been shut down as the data is encrypted. So far no solution has been found to decrypt the data of these affected computers and they continue to remain inaccessible,” said the cyber-expert.
Speaking to Free Press, Chouhan said that the phenomenon on which Ransomware works makes it difficult to track down the system from where it was launched. “The malware encrypts the data and demands a ransom amount in Bitcoin which is a digital currency with no physical form. Bitcoin transactions too cannot be traced by cyber police. One has a Bitcoin wallet in which stores Bitcoins and can access the wallet from any corner of the world. There are both legal and illegal exchanges for Bitcoin trading in virtual world. To encash Bitcoins in any currency one has to make a sub-wallet within his wallet and go to a trader sell them on existing currency conversion rate.
“This transaction too cannot be traced as the accounts consist of numbers and password,” said Chouhan He further said that the only solution to end Bitcoin menace is to declare it illegal worldwide. “The conversion rate of Bitcoin to Re 1 as on Thursday is Rs 1,18,810.86. The currency is majorly used in illegal activities and for investing black money,” added Chouhan. No case regarding ransomware attack has been registered with the state cyber police cell so far. “No complaint has been lodged with cyber police cell so far. The cyber police can confirm only if victim comes up with a complaint,” said assistant inspector general, (cyber cell), Shailendra Singh Chouhan adding that so far there has been no solution or mechanism available with the cyber police to tackle this malware or decrypt the data encrypted by it.