NHAI server attacked by malware, govt says no data loss

The server of government’s highway construction arm–the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) was attacked by a malware Sunday night, according to officials aware of the development.

When the malware attacked the email server of the authority, it may have also impacted the huge pool of data on highways and confidential information over the past decade, officials said. However, NHAI has clarified that the attack was foiled, and no data loss took place.

“A ransomware attack on NHAI email server took place yesterday night. The attack was foiled by the security system and email servers were shut down from safety point of view. The system has been restored now. No data loss took place. NHAI Data lake and other systems remained unaffected from this attack,” an NHAI spokesperson told Hindustan Times.

Ransomware is a type of cyberattack where the hacker tries to infect a server with a type of malware that renders users of the server unable to access key files. Before he removes the malware and lets users regain access to their data and devices, the hacker then demands a ransom.

According to a cyber security firm Sophos, 82% of Indian organisations were reportedly hit by ransomware over the last year. “This is not a huge surprise. Cyber-hygiene is generally poor in India, and pirated technology abounds, creating weaknesses in cyber defenses. This makes organisations vulnerable to attack,” it wrote in its report titled ‘The State of Ransomware 2020’. Criminals have successfully encrypted files in 73% of the attacks and breaches worldwide, the report said.

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