‘Ransomware’ hits Telangana, AP power utilities

It is a malicious software that enters the victim's computer system, and the attackers threaten to publish the data or block access to it unless a ransom is paid.

By Author  |  Published: 2nd May 2019  5:58 pmUpdated: 2nd May 2019  9:13 pm

Hyderabad: Hackers attacked computer systems of the Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company by sending malicious software and demanded ransom as well if the systems were to be restored. However, authorities said they had partly rectified the issue and exuded confidence that they would be able to restore the system soon, without paying any ransom.

According to officials, the hackers gained access to the power distribution company server after an employee clicked on a mail received from an unknown person, after which the virus took over the systems. It is reported that the computer systems of power utilities in Andhra Pradesh were also under attack as both the servers were interconnected.

“Works are on to rectify the glitch. The servers of Telangana Power Distribution Company are strong and there is enough backup of the data stored. The hacker demanded money in form of bitcoins but there is no need to pay it. The glitch will be rectified by Friday,” said KCS Raghuveer, Additional DCP CCS (Cyber Crime).

A case was registered by the Hyderabad Cyber Crime unit and investigation was on. The probe was still in the preliminary stages and more details would be divulged later, officials said.

Meanwhile, the TSSPDCL issued a statement saying its website was hacked on April 29, and that web services such as online payments were affected. However, this had no bearing on the operations of the company, it said, adding that the entire data of the TSSPDCL was safe and all other day-to-day operations were on.

There was no impact on customer services such as payment of bills in Mee Seva, eSeva, departmental counters and the spot collection mechanism. Other customer services such as new service applications, registrations and restoring of power supply related issues were not affected, according to G Raghuma Reddy, CMD, TSSPDCL.

TCS, which was maintaining the web portal, was working round-the-clock with the TSSPDCL IT wing and the web services would be restored at the earliest, the press release said.

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