The devastating outbreak of WannaCry ransomware across the globe this month has exposed a very crucial vulnerability in our security infrastructure, and if this is not taken care of early on, then hackers would be celebrating Christmas and Diwali every day they wish.
Enterprise security firm eScan has conducted an in-depth research into the scale of WannaCry ransomware outbreak in India, and have discovered a very serious, yet conveniently disregarded issue: Free WiFi.
As per the findings of the report, users of Free WiFi offered by Google and Railwire were the ones most hit by the ransomware.
Now, the question is: Who exactly is responsible for this mayhem?
Google & Railwire’s Free WiFi Users Beware
As per eScan’s findings, 32.14% of all WannaCry victims in India were those, who were using free WiFi from Google and Railwire, across various railway stations and nearby areas.
The report finds that although there are numerous ISPs which are offering free WiFi service, the scale at which Google and Railtel expanded their WiFi service makes them the largest such provider.
And, as they say, there are no free lunches. Railtel and Google failed to install any firewall, which protected Windows users from the devastating effect of WannaCry ransomware, and the result is that more than a third infected users belonged to Railwire’s Free Wifi service.
eScan rightly said, “While the Government is installing free Wi-Fi spots at various spots all over India, there is need to validate the internal security of these networks and there is also a need to ensure that all the consumers who are using RailTel’s free Wi-Fi service should do so with some caution..”
Note here, that among WannaCry infected users, 12.83% belonged to Airtel, 8.74% belonged to Tata Telecommunications, 5.57% belonged to Reliance, 2.99% belonged to MTNL and only 2.9% belonged to Jio.
But Railtel and Google’s free Wifi service users were the ones who were worst hit.
Madhya Pradesh Most Hit State
In terms of geographical outreach, users of Madhya Pradesh were worst hit with the ransomware in India.
As per eScan, out of all affected by WannaCry, 32.63% belonged to Madhya Pradesh, followed by 18.84% at Maharashtra and 8.76% at Delhi.
The other major states whose users were infected by WannaCry includes Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.
Do you use free WiFi service for carrying out sensitive activities such as banking transactions and e-shopping? If you do, then stop doing it, because unless the free WiFi service provider assures us that they have protected the network, anything can happen.