Oil India gets Rs 56 crore ransom demand from hackers

PSU chief Oil India, which has been the target of cyber attacks disrupting its operations in Assam, has demanded a ransom of $ 75,00,000 (about Rs 57 crore) from the culprits, officials said on Wednesday.

A case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act, 2000, after the company lodged a complaint with the police.

The cyber attack-ransomware has caused huge financial losses to state-owned company Oil India and the public exchequer as businesses have been severely damaged through the IT system, Oil India manager (security) Sachin Kumar told police.

The cyber attack took place on April 10 at one of the workstations of Oil India’s geological and reservoir department, but it was informed by the IT department on Tuesday, he said.

“After their initial investigation, it has come to their notice that Oil India’s network, servers and clients’ PC networks are experiencing disruptions.

“Also, it has come to their notice that the cyber attacker has demanded $ 75,00,000 as ransom through a note from the infected PC,” Kumar said. He said the company’s servers, networks and other ancillary services were damaged.

A senior Assam police official in Dibrugarh district said they had registered a case under various sections of the IPC and the IT Act and were investigating the matter.

Oil India spokesperson Tridib Hazarika told PTI from its field headquarters in Duliajan that the company was working on repairing the system in phases and “it will take time”.

“Our online system is down and we are working offline. Drilling and production work has not been affected. Data is now being stored offline and will be uploaded later when the IT system is restarted,” he said.

A senior official at the Oil India Pipeline headquarters in Narangi, Guwahati, told PTI that they had shut down their entire network, although their system had not yet been attacked.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Our work is badly affected because we are completely dependent on the Internet network. Our IT engineers are constantly monitoring the situation and they are fully prepared to thwart any cyber attack.”

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