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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ransomware threats are worldwide!

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Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.



The cybercriminals believed to be behind a devastating cyber warfare that left hundreds of companies’, organisations and business entities worldwide offline have reportedly demanded US$ 70 Million to restore the data they’re holding ransom. This happened just before the Potus met the Russian President Putin.



The demand was posted on a ‘dark web’ blog on Sunday, three weeks’ back, Reuters had reported, which was picked up by other news agencies. The blog is “typically used” by the REvil cybercrime gang, who cybersecurity researchers believe are responsible for the latest attack, as well as an attack in May on JBS, the world’s largest meat-processing corporation but having the main butcher centre is Australia. ‘Colossal and devastating’ ransomware attack targets hundreds of US companies, cyber researchers screamed to seek attention in all their journals.



Last week’s attack targeted Kaseya, a remote IT management platform. Hundreds of Kaseya’s clients in the US, Canada, the UK and worldwide had their data frozen, with knock-on effects for customers in some cases.



Swedish grocery chain Coop was forced to close all 800 of its stores on Saturday, as the attack had taken its cash registers offline. Coop was aghast and very annoyed with its attack and it came from the firm, which developed the tool and this attack came in the form of software update. New tools and new strategies are being adopted by the cyber attackers and this is a disturbing trend, worldwide.



The White House announced on Sunday that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security “will reach out to the identified victims to provide assistance.” President Joe Biden, who has previously accused Russia of being behind similar attacks, told reporters that he is “not sure it’s the Russians,” and is waiting on the US’ intelligence agencies to investigate.



Biden ‘not sure’ if Russia is behind recent cyberattack: ‘I told Putin we will respond’ was his response before he met Putin at picturesque Genève location, which is the best place of beautiful Geneva.


The US has previously blamed Russia for numerous cyberattacks on American infrastructure and commerce. The Biden administration sanctioned Russia in April, partly over its alleged involvement in last year’s SolarWinds hack. Even though Biden didn’t accuse Moscow of direct involvement in a cyberattack targeting the US’ fuel supply in May, he did insist that it bore “some responsibility,” as the hackers had allegedly been operating from a Russian-speaking country.



Blame has also been leveled at Beijing. They have a huge cyber warriors under a PLA Minister directly under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. Microsoft claimed in March that it had caught Chinese “state-sponsored” hackers breaking into its email servers, and cybersecurity researchers have accused the Chinese state of involvement in multiple attacks since, including one on New York’s public transportation network.



Moscow and Beijing have consistently denied US accusations of cybercrime involvement.



In a statement on Friday, the Russian Embassy in Washington expressed hope that the US would “abandon the practice of unfounded accusations and focus on professional work with Russian experts to strengthen international information security.”



India will not be left behind by this set of cyberattacks. Day is not far when Indian stock exchanges, large banks and databases will be attacked. India must set up a high powered committee to find ways, means and solutions to prevent such deadly attacks.



Thank God, arrogant minister has been shown the door, which has send powerful message to all future MPs and MLAs to either perform or perish, and it is hoped that technically suave and IT department’s dynamic, hardworking and grounded Secretary Sir will take punitive action to see that the nation is not embarrassed.



Cyber criminals stay in business by staying ahead of the technology developed to stop them. From locks to building security to computer and network security, they are always looking how to get past the latest innovations. Business data should not be made available through the Internet. They need to go back to private networks for business.

Cyber security is a big threat for all of us.

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Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.
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