Why in news?
e-services at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) were crippled by being suspected to be a ransomware attack. The Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations have registered a case and launched investigations, while cyber security experts are employing software tools for data recovery.
- AIIMS has a Local Area Network comprising more than 6,500 computers supporting the institute, its hospital, centres and other departments.
What is ransomware?
- Ransomware is a type of malicious software, used by cyber criminals, to infect a computer system by blocking access to the stored data by encrypting the files.
- A ransom is then demanded from the owner in exchange for the decryption key.
- The malware may usually be injected remotely by tricking the user into downloading it upon clicking an ostensibly safe web link sent via email or other means, including hacking.
- It can spread throughout the network by exploiting existing vulnerabilities.
- Ransomware attacks can also be accompanied by theft of sensitive data for other sinister motives.
How serious are ransomware attacks?
- Cyber experts have indicated more than three crore patients were compromised.
- According to the Interpol’s first-ever Global Crime Trend report presented at its 90th General Assembly meeting in Delhi, ransomware was the second highest-ranking threat after money laundering
- Spicejet had faced similar a threat, while Public Sector Undertaking Oil India was also targeted
Which agencies in India deal with cyber-attacks?
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)
- National nodal agency that collects, analyses and circulates inputs on cyber-attacks
- It issues guidelines, advisories for preventive measures, forecasts and issues alerts and takes measures to handle any significant cyber security event.
- It also imparts training to computer system managers
The National Cyber Security Coordinator
- It is under the National Security Council Secretariat, coordinates with different agencies at the national level on cyber security issues,
National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre
- This has been set up for the protection of national critical information infrastructure.
Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre)
- It has been launched for detection of malicious software programmes and to provide free tools to remove the same
National Cyber Coordination Centre : Works on creating awareness about existing and potential threats.