14/10/2016 10:03 AM IST | Updated 14/10/2016 10:05 AM IST

At Least 50 IT Companies In Hyderabad Attacked By Pakistani Hackers: Report

Most of the affected firms deal in finance.

Photothek via Getty Images
Representative image. Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images.

The Society for Cyber Security Council (SCSC) in Hyderabad, which comprises top information technology (IT) companies and the police, has revealed a spate of cyber attacks from Pakistan-based hackers on at least 50 IT companies based in the city, The Times of India reported.

Valuable information was allegedly stolen using 'ransomware' and 'bitcoins' were demanded as payment for handing back the decryption keys. Police say the sums were as high as 1 lakh bitcoins (which is equal to Rs 420 crores) but the information wasn't returned to one company even after it had paid up.

Although the hackers moved proxy servers every few minutes — to Turkey, Somalia, Saudi Arabia — cyber security professionals traced their location to Pakistan through the IP addresses, the port used and the network nodes. These attacks, which took place over the last 10 days, have affected companies some of which cater to clients in the US and Europe. Their names have not been given out for security reasons.

The Cyberabad area in Hyderabad has an estimated 2,500 IT companies, including 1,300 big companies registered with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). Over 7,000 websites have been allegedly hacked by Pakistani hackers as revenge for the "surgical strikes" carried out by India in late September along the Line of Control (LoC).

Most companies hit by the cyber attacks in Hyderabad deal in finances. A majority of them had recently gone to the experts with complaints that their network transactions were not moving. After investigation several ransomware attacks from Riyadh were detected.

SCSC is framing a Ransomware Remediation Plan to provide guidelines to companies to act in the event of such an attack in the future.

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