regular-article-logo Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Assam: Oil India Limited becomes victim of cyber attack

Hackers demanded a ransom of $75,000,00 through one of the infected PCs at the Duliajan-based government-owned enterprise

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 14.04.22, 01:48 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File Photo.

Oil India Limited, a government of India-owned enterprise headquartered at Duliajan in Assam, fell victim to a cyber attack on Sunday with the hackers demanding a ransom of $75,000,00 through one of the infected PCs.

In an FIR lodged with the Duliajan Police Station in Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district on Tuesday, OIL said its IT department detected the ransomware attack in one of the workstations of its geological and reservoir (G&R) department on April 10.


“After their preliminary investigation, it came to their notice that OIL’s network, server and clients’ PCs are facing network outage. Further, it also came to their notice that, cyber attacker has demanded 7500,000 USD as a ransom through a note from the infected PC,” the copy of the FIR stated. Seeking appropriate action, the FIR also revealed the Central PSU has “incurred” huge financial loss as business through IT has been seriously affected because of the ransomware attack.

A ransomware attack results in the victims’ data and files getting locked and encrypted and the attacker seeks money to unlock the system.

Besides its pan-India presence, the country’s second largest oil and gas company has its footprint in eight countries — Russia, USA, Venezuela, Mozambique, Nigeria, Gabon, Bangladesh and Libya.

Under the administrative control of the petroleum and natural gas ministry, the company explores and produces crude oil and natural gas besides transportation of crude oil and production of LPG.

OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika told The Telegraph on Wednesday that “few servers and desktop computers” in the G& R have been “infected” and the IT system has been shut down as per IT security protocol for restoration which may take a few days.

The senior official also asserted that “no” data or information has been lost nor exploration and drilling operations affected.

“Things are settling down. Our own IT team is working to fix the system. We have also roped in the services of an internationally reputed cyber security consultant for the restoration which may take a few days,” he said. Sources said the impact of the cyber attack will be minimised because the company has Bihu bandh from Thursday.

“Office will resume on Monday and by then the system would have been fixed hopefully. There is no online access but we have a system of manually managing digital data,” he said.

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