Published on: December 2, 2022

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks

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.