‘Ransomware attack’ on surveillance firm, hackers demand Rs 2.19 crore for release of confidential data

A Mumbai-based electronic surveillance start-up recently fell victim to an alleged ransomware attack.

Police said the company’s confidential surveillance data, which was in their computer system, had been hacked and encrypted, and that the hackers were demanding Rs 2.19 crore for its release. The hackers had also threatened to sell the data on the black market if the company did not pay up, police added.

The company has lodged a complaint at Rabale MIDC police station, on the basis of which an FIR has been filed and probe is on.

According to the FIR, the company has a office in Navi Mumbai and, at present, due to Covid-19 lockdown, staff is working from home.

On May 17, around noon, the complainant, a staffer with the company, received a call from the firm’s IT engineer stating that something was wrong with the server system and data had been encrypted and was inaccessible, the FIR states.

“We have registered an FIR under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and IT Act for extortion and hacking. It looks like the company’s server was hacked from outside the country and our probe is on to get the internet protocol address,” a police officer said.