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India not much affected by global malware attack yet: Ravi Shankar Prasad

28 June 2017

Companies that affected today include Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft, global advertising giant WPP Group and multiple institutions in Ukraine including its central bank and an worldwide airport.

Engineering exporters body EEPC India today said the "Petya" malware will impact the country's shipments to nations affected by the cyber attack by disrupting traffic at the ports, including the JNPT in Mumbai.

The port has been trying to clear containers manually, but operational capacity has dropped to a third at the terminal, Anil Diggikar, chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), told Reuters on Wednesday morning.

"With there being no global kill switch for this one, we will continue to see the numbers rise in different parts of the world as more vulnerable systems become more exposed", Beau Woods, deputy director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council in Washington told Bloomberg. "We are hopeful that operations will normalize in a day", he said.

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In India, private port operator APM Terminals Pipavav's operations too have partially been hit by Petya. Global shipping company, AP Moller-Maersk which also handles ports in India have surfaced as one of the worst affected companies. Banks as well as retail businesses across the world are concentrating their defenses against the new wave of cyber thefts and attacks, safeguarding themselves and their clients' sensitive data such as their credit card details.

The Maersk group confirmed that its operations were hit by the cyber incident.

"Right now, we understand that it is a global issue at a group level where 75 ports have been affected".

"We are continuing to investigate and will take appropriate action to protect customers", a spokesman for the company said, adding that Microsoft antivirus software detects and removes it.

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According to the Ministry of Shipping, a private terminal operator at the the JNPT was taking steps to address the issue. JNPT, which ships more than half the containerized cargo passing through India's ports, serves a vast hinterland comprising all of northern and western India. AP Moller-Maersk (APM), one of the affected entities globally, operates the GTI at JNPT.

"It has been informed by the private Terminal Operator that this disruption is a effect of a worldwide disruption being faced by them because of a cyber attack".

Meanwhile, the government sent National Cyber Security Advisor Gulshan Rai to Mumbai on Wednesday to closely monitor the situation. Ministry of Shipping and JNPT are taking steps to ensure minimum disturbance to trade, transporters and more importantly local citizens.

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India not much affected by global malware attack yet: Ravi Shankar Prasad