October 4, 2023

The computer server of India’s leading news organization, Press Trust of India (PTI), was attacked late Saturday night by ransomware, disrupting news service across the country for several hours.

A ransom was demanded from PTI after the cyber attack. However, the work of the news organization started after about 12 hours of struggle by IT engineers.

A PTI spokesperson said that its servers across the country were attacked by ransomware called Lockbit at 10.00 pm on Saturday. The virus encrypted all data and applications, disrupting its news service.

The origin of the virus is not known, nor was it a deliberate attack. However, a ransom was demanded to return encrypted data after the attack.

A PTI spokesperson said that the work of the news institute was back to normal from 9 am on Sunday after a 12-hour struggle by PTI’s IT engineers. The company did not provide ransom to the attackers.

According to a recent survey by cyberspace company Sophos, ransomware attacks have increased over the years. Eighty-two percent of companies surveyed have accepted ransom attacks between January and June this year.

Only 8 percent of companies can prevent an attack before encrypting their data, compared to their global average of 24 percent. Only one-third of Indian companies said they were able to recover encrypted data from backups, while 66 percent said they would have to pay a ransom to recover data.

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