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Cyber attack: Tech Mahindra in soup as PCMC refuses to pay for loss, parties seek probe

According to the complaint lodged by Tech Mahindra, which manages the plan, servers of the Chinchwad Smart City Project suffered a ransomware attack that caused them an estimated loss of Rs 5 crore.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: March 15, 2021 1:19:48 am
tech mahindra, tech mahindra cyber attack, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, tech mahindra september quarter results, tech mahindra to aquire born group, tech mahindra news update, indian expressTech Mahindra said though it has filed the complaint estimating the loss, it won’t seek any compensation from the PCMC and will restore the system. (Express photo)

Even as political parties are demanding action against Tech Mahindra in connection with the ransomware attack on the Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Project, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has said it will not pay a single paisa for the purported loss suffered by the company.

According to the complaint lodged by Tech Mahindra, which manages the plan, servers of the Chinchwad Smart City Project suffered a ransomware attack that caused them an estimated loss of Rs 5 crore. As per the complaint, the attackers have demanded a ransom to be paid in Bitcoins.

The attack took place on February 26 and a criminal offence was registered at the Nigdi police station on March 9 by Mahendra Laxminarayan Lathi (55), manager at Tech Mahindra. The project involves finding technological solutions to issues, including city network, smart water, sewerage, traffic, parking, environment, CCTV surveillance, data centre and disaster recovery centre among others.

While the company has lodged a complaint estimating the loss at Rs 5 crore, Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil said the civic body will not pay for the loss. The civic body said they did not suffer any damage in terms of information leakage. PCMC IT Officer Neelkanth Poman said: “We are surprised by the police complaint lodged by Tech Mahindra. We believe they can restore the system. There is no justification for any loss. The PCMC will not pay anything to the firm. We have told them so.”

Tech Mahindra said though it has filed the complaint estimating the loss, it won’t seek any compensation from the PCMC and will restore the system.

Sujit Baksi, president of corporate affairs, Tech Mahindra, said: “On February 26, we were informed about the ransomware attack on PCMC servers. The team briefed the whole situation to the cyber security officials and filed an FIR with police. After detailed analysis of the situation in past 10 days, we have come to a conclusion that 25 servers are impacted, which need to be rebuilt along with implementation of a robust security system. Our team is monitoring the situation on a regular basis and has also continued the work on rebuilding the environment without touching the infected servers.”

Maval Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne said, “The cyber attack raises questions about the security of people. There should be a thorough investigation into it and the guilty punished.”

The ruling BJP blamed Tech Mahindra for the lapse. BJP Corporator Seema Savale said, “The attack shows that proper firewall has not been built by the company for the systems. Also, the company has made several contradictory statements in the FIR. It’s clear that it’s trying to hide something.”

Sanjoy Waghere, president of the NCP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit, said: “The PCMC has spent crores of rupees on the project. Instead of securing the project, Tech Mahindra is trying to avoid its responsibility by claiming that a theft had taken place. We request the PCMC to investigate the matter and punish the guilty.”

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