Oil India HQ Gets Ransom Demand of 60CR in Bitcoin

Oil India HQ Gets Ransom Demand of Rs 60 Crore

( 2 min read )

The registered headquarters of Oil India Limited (OIL) at Duliajan in Assam is caught up in a messy cyber threat. The ransom demand posed to Oil India HQ is purported to be the biggest cyberattack just yet.

Specifics of the Oil India HQ Case

OIL filed an FIR with the Duliajan Police Station under multiple sections of the IT act, and also under Section 385 of the Indian Penal Code which has clauses for extortion. The authorities are still looking into the perpetrators of the Oil India HQ attack.

As per the official OIL complaint, the attack occurred on the 10th of April, on one of their Geology and Reservoir workstations.

The virus infected a handful of computers, which OIL disconnected from the main LAN connection for safe measure. How the virus got into the system is still a mystery.

A Unique Ransom Demand

The Superintendent of Police of the concerned Assamese department, Shwetank Mehta, shed light on the markedly different – and yet rapidly becoming common – mode of ransom payment.

In the Oil India ransomware case, ransom was demanded in terms of 196 bitcoins, which amounted to INR 60 Crore.

OIL spokesperson, Tridiv Hazarika, didn’t think much of this unique demand, however, saying: “These are standard tactics of hackers who use ransomware to intimidate the target entities.”

Involved Parties React

“It is a virus, it is a fairly severe and strong virus. It has impacted some of our servers — restoration will take some time. We are also taking the help of external experts,” OIL Hazarika reported publicly. “This is the biggest attack that we have faced in recent years.”

The OIL spokesperson maintained that no data breach has yet become apparent. “Details are being worked out, as of now it is just known that a ransomware attack has been carried out.”

“After their preliminary investigation, it came to their notice that OIL’s network, server, and clients PCs are facing network outage,” OIL’s official police complaint reads. “Further, it also came to their notice that, the cyber attacker has demanded 7500000 USD (roughly Rs 57 crore) as a ransom through a note from the infected PC.”

“Our operations, the key elements of our day-to-day activities — drilling, and production operations have not been impacted at all… The ERP platform, which we use for our business transactions, is also up and running,” Hazarika further said. “We are just taking some time to activate all the desktops, which, as a precautionary measure, we had removed from our systems”. The company said in its complaint that the Oil India ransomware case had “incurred a huge financial loss” to OIL because it has caused business interruptions and outages.

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