Indian banks and ATMs had a narrow escape from WannaCry

No reports have come to Cert- In. The RBI has asked banks to follow the instructions of government organisation CERT-In on ransomware, which has impacted various IT networks in over 150 countries.

In the wake of WannaCry ransomware disrupting computer systems across the world, Union Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said the malware will not impact India much. Most automated teller machines (ATMs) were running fine, there could be some which may not have updated Microsoft's Windows operating system, sources said.

Meanwhile, many ATMs may remain closed for software updates as they are seen as being vulnerable since nearly all of them are run on Windows software. "Also over 60 percent of 225,000 ATMs in the country run on the outdated Windows XP operating system", the broadcaster said. Incidentally, no data is stored in the physical machine.

The cyber attack, which has affected at least 200,000 computers in 150 countries, shut vehicle factories, hospitals, shops and schools, but has been less severe than anticipated in Asia. India's cyber security agency has alerted internet users against the worn which locks the infected computer and asks the user to pay a ransom on 300 United States dollars in Bitcoin virtual currency to unlock the system.

Ransomware typically logs users out of their own systems and asks them to pay a ransom if they want to access the encrypted data.

Microsoft has introduced a security patch to tackle the situation, and consumers across the globe have been advised to download the solution at the earliest. "We have been in touch with Microsoft and others.even they have not got any reports", said director-general of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) Sanjay Bahl.

"All banks are taking a short cut because it (getting new software) involves a huge licensing cost", said Dharshan Shanthamurthy, founder and chief executive at SISA Information Security Pvt.

Concerns over India being hit by the ransomware have led to public and private agencies working overtime to firewall their systems from any possible attack.

CERT-In has issued list of dos and don'ts and webcast on how to protect networks from the global ransomware attack.

In Spain, major companies including telecommunications firm Telefonica have been infected.

India is on high alert, monitoring critical networks across sectors like banking, telecom, power and aviation to ensure that systems are protected against the attack that has claimed victims in more than 150 countries over the weekend.

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