COMPUTERS INSTALLED at Birbhum and Darjeeling customer care centres of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) have also been attacked by ransomware virus ‘WannaCry’. This comes a day after it was reported that computers at WBSEDCL customer care centres in West Midnapore, South Dinajpur and East Midnapore were attacked by the same virus.
Officials said that over Friday and Saturday, around 35 customer care centres of WBSEDCL had been attacked by WannaCry — a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a ransom is paid.
“The attack started last Friday. Initially, we came to know that four customer care centres have been attacked. But according to our latest report, around 35 centres have been affected. Many computers have already been sanitised and work is on,” a WBSEDCL official said.
Computers in WBSEDCL offices at Suri and Nalhati in Birbhum and Darjeeling have been infected by the virus, a government spokesman told PTI.
When contacted, state Power Minister Sovandeb Chattapadhay said: “WBSEDCL has above 500 customer care centres. While a few computers at these centres have been attacked, it has not affected the overall service. So far, we are equipped to handle such a cyber attack.” “In Bengal, the magnitude of the problem is not that serious. Our computers have been attacked but it is not very serious, as data could be retrieved… Customer data is fully protected in our central server system… such attacks have not affected our day-to-day functioning,” he added.
The state government on Tuesday issued a circular to its employees, containing a set of guidelines on how to stave off the attack (See Box). Officials said a high-level meeting, attended by senior government officials and cyber experts of CID, was held at Nabanno. Following this, the directives were issued to all departments. Officials said after WBSEDCL computers were attacked, all departments started backing up their data.
“The government has asked for details on how many computers have been attacked so far… Technical support staff at government offices has been asked to brief their colleagues on how to face the situation,” said an official. The CID and Kolkata Police, meanwhile, are taking the help of social media to make people aware of cyber attack.