The latest ransomware attack, named Petya, has hit closer home this time than the WannaCry attack before this. In India, operation at one of the terminals of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust came to a standstill thanks to the attack. The affected terminal was being operated by AP Moller-Maersk, the shipping giant which is among the worst affected globally.
The latest attack just highlights how India is a ticking timebomb and a happy hunting ground for cyber criminals. The sheer number of unsupported pirated operating systems and outdated computers across the country makes it an easy target for latest ransomware attacks. Add to this, India as a country does not seem to believe in keeping software updated, a legacy of having used so much pirated software where updates could trigger a shutdown.
Saket Modi, CEO & Co-founder, Lucideus suggests over half the Windows systems in India are still not patched. This is worrying because these computers might all be vulnerable and not aware of the best way to fix it.
Thankfully, this new attack is also not targeted. It is only a matter of time that some hacker somewhere decides to focus on a certain arm of the government or a sector of business. While latest computers are not patched with new security updates, it might be even more worrying that there could be millions of Windows XP devices across the country, some of them in critical sectors like banking.
It is high time that we set norms for the basis computing requirements in all critical sectors from power to transports and banking. The longer we delay this, the more we expose ourselves to a big hit. Also, we don’t really know what an actual big hit means in these connected times and that kind of an impact it will have.