Cyber criminals have encrypted the billing data of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) power discom in India and have demanded a 10 million rupees ($150,000) ransom payment in form of bitcoins from the state government to recover the stolen data.
According to the New India Express, hackers got access to Automatic Meter Reading System (AMR) on March 21 and encrypted billing data of about 4,000 industrial consumers. On March 22, the attackers flashed a ransomware message on the computer screens of the power discom asking the company to pay the extortion money through Bitcoin online system.
A spokesman of the UHBVN claimed that the company’s IT staff has already restored the billing data using the available backups. “The billing of about 4,000 consumers has already started functioning normally. There is no business loss and there is continuity in the business. Immediately after the attack, the complete system study was carried out by the officers, cyber expert as well as other IT experts. The database was found encrypted,” he added.
A senior officer of the UHBVN said that hackers had made similar intrusion attempts earlier too. The cyber experts of Haryana state police are now investigating the incident.