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Oil India Under Cyberattack; Receives Ransom Demand Of INR 57 Cr In Bitcoin

Oil India Under Cyberattack; Receives Ransom Demand Of INR 57 Cr In Bitcoin

OIL's Duliajan headquarter in Assam came under cyberattack on April 10, 2022

The PSU and the government exchequer have incurred a huge financial loss due to the cyberattack

CID of Assam Police would probe the ransomware attack on OIL

Oil India Limited (OIL), the state-owned oil and gas extraction company, suffered a major cyberattack in Assam, with perpetrators asking for $75,00,000 (about INR 57 Cr) in Bitcoin as ransom through a note.

OIL’s Duliajan headquarter in Assam came under cyberattack on April 10, 2022, according to the company, following which the oil major shut down all affected systems and started working to resolve the matter.

The government-owned company later lodged a police complaint. A case was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act, 2000.

According to the police complaint, the cyberattack took place on one of the workstations of the Geology and Reservoir departments.

The public sector undertaking (PSU) and the government exchequer incurred a huge financial loss due to the cyberattack, as the business through the IT system was seriously affected, a senior employee of OIL said in a police complaint.

Meanwhile, the CID of Assam Police will investigate the ransomware cyberattack on the PSU.

It is worth mentioning here that the official Twitter account of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India was hacked on April 10, 2022, likely by scammers claiming to be associated with Azuki non-fungible tokens (NFT) project.

The Twitter handle, @ugc_india, currently has about 296K followers. The hackers changed its profile and cover picture to advertise anime-style characters known as Azukis.

Launched a couple of months ago, the Azuki collection of NFTs is currently among the world’s best-selling NFTs.

However, the UGC India’s Twitter account was restored soon after being hacked.

The hacking looks similar to a recent spate of similar crypto scams. According to cryptocurrency website Decrypt, the scam involved hijacking of several verified Twitter accounts. The hackers changed the profile picture and bios of the accounts to suggest that it belonged to one of the co-creators of the Azuki project.

The UGC hacking episode was the third incident reported within a couple of days in which a government-related account was targeted by hackers.

Before this, the accounts of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) were also hacked.

The official Twitter handle of the Uttar Pradesh CMO was hacked on April 8, 2022. The hackers sent out 400-500 tweets from the account. However, the Twitter handle was restored later. The Twitter handle, @CMOffice, has over 40 lakh followers.

Besides, the official Twitter account of the IMD was hacked on April 9, 2022. However, it was restored after a few hours, IMD tweeted.

The hackers had then put up a tweet directed towards NFT traders. The profile picture had been removed and several tweets were put out tagging multiple handles. The IMD profile has 246.6k followers.

In 2021, cryptocurrencies witnessed a massive expansion in several parts of the world, including India. Around 100 Mn Indians are experimenting with the crypto space.

Due to lack of research and awareness, many crypto-enthusiastic Indians are finding their ways on scam websites, a new research by Chainalysis claimed.

In 2021 alone, fake crypto websites registered 9.6 Mn visits from India, the report claimed.

The top five crypto scam websites visited by Indians in 2021 included Coinpayu.com, Adbtc.top, Hackertyper.net, Dualmine.com, and Coingain.app, according to the report by Chainalysis.

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