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19 May 2017

Awareness programme on ransomware attacks held

Awareness programme on ransomware attacks heldMP | 18 May 2017 | Kolkata: In a bid to avoid any further ransomware attack in any of the state government offices, the state Information Technology (IT) department organised an awareness programme in which representatives from different government departments were also present.

Senior officials of the IT department along with senior police officers and cyber experts made representatives from all the departments aware about the attack that had left around 1 lakh computers crippled across the globe.

Besides giving a detailed presentation on ransomware, ways and means to prevent such attacks in the future was also told to the officials.
There was also an interactive session in which officials got opportunity to clear their doubts in this connection and they also raised certain points that they often face while using computers with Internet connection in their offices. In a bid to prevent further such attacks, the officials were asked to avoid pop-ups. Some of the officials have raised the question that to continue with their work, they are often forced to click on certain pop-ups. Thus, they have asked the way outs in this connection.

The officials were made aware about the use of updated software and better security systems that should ensure effective results to prevent such attacks. It may be mentioned that a few days ago, the dangerous ransomware — WannaCry — had encrypted files in computers in four offices of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) at Belda, Datan, Keshiyari and Narayangarh in West Midnapore demanding 300 USD in bitcoins.

Subsequently, a high-level meeting was held in the state Secretariat — Nabanna — in which it was decided to prepare a guideline to prevent ransomware in the future.

Besides preparing the guideline, it was also decided to create awareness to avoid such attacks in the future. On Thursday, the officials have been told that all versions of windows apart from Windows 10 are vulnerable to the attack of WannaCry if not patched for MS-17-010.
The future plan of the IT department to set up the State CERT-WB and cyber security centre of excellence has also been discussed.

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