At least 150 computers of Mantralaya, headquarters of the Maharashtra government, were attacked by a malicious software known as Locky ransomware, which blocks access to computers. Officials said the attack targeted files from the revenue and public works departments but the damage was contained before it could spread. The government building uses over 5,300 computers. The government has now directed its employees to only use their official ID and not use private e-mail IDs such as Gmail or Yahoo. It has also decided to provide an advisory to employees to exercise caution while using pendrives and CDs procured without authenticating sources.
According to Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Vijay Kumar Gautam, “Whether it is the Government of India or Maharashtra government, there is a rule to operate on official ID. Why should the employees use private ID, while conducting the government work?”
Maintaining that all central data of the entire government across departments was safe, he said, “The quick action taken by the IT department to detect the problems helped to save other systems from the virus attack.” However, the 150 computers will be subjected to forensic tests.
Gautam believes, “The Locky attack could be a case of mistaken identity. What could the hackers get from the state government?”