Deliberate Ransomware Attacks Made on AIIMS Delhi- NIA Probe

Deliberate Ransomware Attacks Made on AIIMS Delhi- NIA Probe

Ransomware attack is a cyber crime in which the cybercriminals lock the access to data or a device and asks for ransom from the owner to unlock it. On 23rd November, India’s one of the top medical facility AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) Delhi, allegedly faced a cyber attack that paralyzed all its servers.

Following this on 25th November, a case of extortion and cyber terrorism was registered by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police. To investigate the matter, a multi-agency investigation probe was launched.

This consists of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Delhi cybercrime special cell, Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre, Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Forensic Sciences University, National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre and NIA.

Nearly after two weeks the server was restored on 6th December and the next day near-normal service was resumed.

The Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating this deliberate ransomware attack.

On 2nd December 2022, Chandrashekhar said, “It is clearly a conspiracy and it has been planned by forces that are pretty significant. It is a sophisticated ransomware attack. We will wait for the outcome of CERTin and NIA (investigations) before we come to conclusion on who is behind the ransomware attack.” 

While addressing in the sidelines of CII Global Economic Policy Summit 2022, Chandrashekhar said, “I can’t comment on that as it is a subject matter of an investigation by the NIA…It is pretty clear that it is a deliberate and targeted effort…a ransomware attack on AIIMS’ system… and NIA is investigating it.”

NIA is still investigating the matter to find out the source of the attack. Similar to AIIMS ransomware attacks, many other such medical authorities have also faced the same attack.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have also reported around 6,000 hacking attempts within 24 hours on November 30th. Luckily, the malicious attempts made to hack the website were failed and did not affected the server.

The Safdarjung Hospital of Delhi also faced a cyber attack, but as the facility runs mainly on a manual system the impact was limited, only one server was down which got rectified in one day.

One of the world’s largest VPN service providers, the NordVPN conducted a study, which revealed that the data of around 6,00,000 Indians have already been sold in the bot market.

The number is huge and frightening which raises the concern among these authorities as well as people regarding the data leakage and privacy rights.

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