Indian authorities issue Akira ransomware warning

Gurgaon police in the Indian state of Haryana have alerted internet users to a new ransomware named Akira, which primarily targets computer systems running on Windows and Linux. 

The police said this virus spreads and accesses Windows and Linux-based computers and laptops through the internet and is found to be taking users’ personal data, and cybercriminals demand a ransom.

The warning follows a recent advisory from India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) reporting the emergence of the Akira ransomware.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Siddhant Jain said the Akira ransomware is a programme that blocks the data of its victim and the entire system to prevent the user from using it. After taking possession of files/data of the victim computer, it gives them a new extension. Cybercriminals demand ransom and the data of those users who do not pay it are made public on the dark web, the police said.

The Gurgaon police have advised internet users to take several precautions, including keeping an updated backup of important files/data; and not paying any ransom demands.