Mumbai: WFH made people vulnerable to data breaches, ransomware; cops caution citizens

The Novel Coronavirus pandemic induced lockdown had compelled citizens to adopt work-from-home culture to ensure safety, which also eventually made them vulnerable to data breaches and malware attacks. According to recent research, there was a massive increase of over 273 percent in data breaches recorded in the first half of 2020 when compared to the corresponding figures of its previous year.

With people working remotely from home, the security system was highly at risk, giving a chance to cyber fraudsters and malware attackers to slip in and cause chaos. Ransomware was largely exploited with businesses and individuals being threatened to publish their data or block access unless a ransom is paid. Cyber police said that data breaching and ransomware attacks have become common with passing time.

A senior Cyber official said that most ransomware slips in the system through unverified links and downloads. "Avoid clicking links in spam emails or unfamiliar websites. Usually, in these ransomware, viruses are embedded in download files like word, presentation or others, which could get your computer infected. Never share personal information with an untrusted source and never use unfamiliar USBs," added the official.

Recently, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had become a victim of a 'ransomware attack', which was reported to the Cyber Security Cell of Mumbai Police. The MIDC had said in a statement, “On March 21, at 2.30 am, we received automated alerts that our applications went down. On further analysis during the day, the ransomware attack was confirmed." The statement further read that ransomware ”SYNack” impacted the applications and database servers hosted at MIDC HQ in Mumbai by encrypting the data stored in these servers.

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