Ahmedabad, May 14 (PTI)In face of ransomware virus threat to its information technology network, the Gujarat government has begun equipping its state computer system with anti-virus softwares and upgrading its Microsoft operating systems.

Computers linked to the Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN), one of country’s largest IP-based IT infrastructure connecting taluka-level government offices to the state capital with around 45,000 computers, are being monitored closely, said Science and Technology Department Secretary Dhananjay Dwivedi.

The government is also taking various preventive measures to avert the threat of ransomware virus, he added.

“By default we have anti-virus softwares in most of the computers, but there are also computers which do not have the anti-virus or upgraded Microsoft operating system. We are installing anti-virus and upgrading Microsoft operating system in these computers following ransomware virus threat,” Dwivedi said.

Without elaborating, he said the government has since yesterday taken up precautionary measures in the wake of the threat.

Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In), the country’s nodal agency to combat hacking, phishing and fortifying the security-related defences of the Indian Internet domain, has alerted Internet users against damaging activities of a strong and globally active ransomware virus- Wannacry that critically infects work stations and locks them remotely.

The virus encrypts files on the infected Windows systems and spreads by using a vulnerability in implementations of server message block (SMB) in Windows systems, it said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.