ransomware cyberattack

The WannaCry ransomware has reportedly spread to over 150 countries, affecting hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide.Reuters

Cybersecurity has become a major concern for the world with the risks that come along with it. India too has had to consider the risk over the years. Now, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has faced a cyberattack wherein over 100 computers had data compromised.

The Delhi Police's Special Cell is probing the matter and has traced an Email ID to a Bengaluru firm. 

The cyberattack on NIC and MeitY

A cyberattack involves a breach of information of an individual or an organisation and this may include sensitive and important information as well. In an age of data and the internet, these crimes are harder and are a much more persistent problem. 

The NIC in early September had reported the case when an employee at the MeitY had received an email with attachments. When he clicked the attachments, data on the system was completely deleted. The malware bug was not solely isolated in this particular system but had affected more than a hundred computers.

The Delhi Police's Special Cell has been investigating the case and told ANI, "We have registered a complaint based on the NIC staffer's complaint and are investigating it." While the source of the bug pointed towards a Bengaluru IT firm, the possibility of US sending the email through a proxy server to the Bengaluru-based firm is also being probed.

Why the cyberattack is alarming

The NIC maintains and is responsible for a lot of the Indian Government data as part of the MeitY. Moreover, it is responsible for crucial information security of the government. The data stored on the computers that were attacked have been reported to contain sensitive information on national security, VVIPs in the country and the citizens.

Some of the functionaries regarding whom information was reported to be stored included the National Security advisor, the Prime Minister, home minister and others. Moreover, this case has come at a time when there are many murmurs about Chinese surveillance of the country, its citizens and internal matters. This is particularly linked to the case of Zhenhua Data, which was believed to be tracking numerous individuals in the country.