An independent research by Quick Heal Technologies, a cyber-security firm, shows that about 48,000 computers were attacked by the ransomware WannaCry, with most incidents in West Bengal.
Talking to state TV at the weekend, Hossein Ramezani called for preemptive measures to stop the virus from spreading further, Iran Front Page reported.
Close to 150 countries have been affected by this pandemic, which is infecting older versions of the Windows operating system. What you might not be so aware of is the fact that this attack could personally affect you too.
The attack has been described by Europol as unprecedented in scale with the virus software demanding ransom payments in the cryptocurrency bitcoin thus blackmailing the victims.
And what if you're infected already?
First up, let's define ransomware.
"Our key direction to you is to remember that we are in this with our customers - we are trusted advisers, counselors, and suppliers to them", he wrote.
Ransomware is a particular type of malware (malicious software) that, as the name suggests, holds data to ransom.
Typical ransomware also generates a unique bitcoin account for each payment to make tracing hard.
However, WannaCry didn't just affect the public sector. "But what we do know is the malware attacked the vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that Microsoft had released a patch to fix several months ago", Burley, a professor of human and organizational learning at George Washington University told Fox News. Once installed there's no more worry about backing up your information. Trust me on this: WannaCry is not the Big One. Alternatively this link could pop up inside an app or online download posing as something innocent. According to a Twitter account that monitors those accounts, they've received only about 250 payments worth a total of slightly more than $72,000. You should also be running security software like Norton or McAfee.
CERT warns that users should "be careful when clicking directly on links in emails, even if the sender appears to be known; attempt to verify web addresses independently (e.g., contact your organization's helpdesk or search the Internet for the main website of the organization or topic mentioned in the email)". The illegal software can not be easily updated. On Monday, researchers said the same weapons-grade attack kit was used in a much earlier and possibly larger-scale hack that made infected computers part of a botnet that mined cryptocurrency.
However, this assertion by the government goes against claims from cyber security experts.
And then upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as you can. If you have all your important documents backed up, to the cloud for example, then you can simply let the malware wipe your machine and start again using the backup. While the ATM manufacturers have said that nothing amiss was reported in the ATM network, they usually do not save any financial transaction data. So if you're a casual home user, you're likely to be safer than those wealthier targets. This is exactly what happened within the NHS.
You're hosed. Sorry. Up to you whether you want to pay the ransom, but the little ray of sunshine is that, if you do pay, you'll get your files back.
The simple answer is no, never pay.
However, Bossert warned that following the patching advice from Microsoft and the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be a top priority to stop the spread of ransomware, which has hit a number of large-profile companies, including FedEx.