TELANGANA RANSOMWARE

Ransomware hits Telangana and AP’s power utilities

The websites of Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd (TSSPDCL) and its AP counterpart encountered a ransomware attack a couple of days ago, disrupting web services, including online payments.

A staff member of TSSPDCL received an email from an unknown person and the staff inadvertently click on it causing the virus attack to take over the entire systems. The websites are maintained by TCS and experts from the IT giant have flown to restore them.

Hackers demanded a ransom of 6 Bitcoins (nearly Rs. 20 lakh) to give the decryption key to restore the website. However, “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,” KCS Raghuveer, Additional DCP CCS (Cyber Crime) was quoted as saying.

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.

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