Don’t Cry Over Ransomware Alone


ALMOST EVERY MONTH BRINGS A NEW SCARE OF COMPUTER VIRUS. AND WITH COMPUTERS BECOMING an essential equipment at every step in every field, these ‘attacks’ cause more scare today than any virulent epidemic.

The recent Ransomware virus attack by the group WannaCry, which demanded payment of ransom in the digital currency Bitcoin in return for not destroying all the data on a computer, was said to be the worst virus attack so far. After the virus ‘Trojan’ caused a havoc a few years ago, every new virus that was released by the ‘cyber terrorists’ was described as the worst ever.

Computer viruses, unlike those that endanger your health, are not natural phenomena but the handiwork of technically qualified criminals who write the harmful software that causes the damage. The attackers say they want to cry (WannaCry) but made thousands cry.

What you should cry about, however is not just Ransomware. What is shocking is that the software was created by the National Security Agency (NSA) of America to destroy enemy computers and had leaked out somehow. It is like germs of a deadly epidemic, kept for research in some medical laboratory, leaking out and killing people. What is of concern is that this leak could be deliberately caused by people like the Islamic terrorists who think they are serving a holy cause by doing so.

It is seen that most of the terrorists using high technology are highly qualified and well versed in technology. Similarly those indulging in violence for the ’cause’ they believe in get highly sophisticated technology and weapons which again involve high resources and influence. So the education which gave them the technology and resources has failed to instil human values in them.

Technology, sophisticated weaponry and high resources can get into the hands of people with perverted mentality who can misuse them. Nuclear trigger may be within the reach of people with ideas which can harm the human race itself. And they can get the access to them even though the democratic process when ‘leaders’ are driven by hatred, wrong notions of nationalism, distorted interpretations of religion and hunger for power. That criminals can get elected needs no proof in India.

The new Ransomware criminals, according to The Economic Times daily, spent only Rs 686 to attack computers across 99 nations! Every organisation with computers issued advisory to all its staff not to click on unsecured links, not to open attachments and stop downloading movies for the next two days. Some ATMs were shut down and people told not to transact online for some time.

For the next few days one should not open any message with an attachment entitled ‘POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,’regardless of who sent it, as it is sent from the hacked account of someone who frequently sends mails. The virus opens a post card image which ‘burns’ the whole hard disc (local disc C) of the computer.

Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee on Saturday. It was declared there was no repair found yet for Ransomware. It simply destroys the Zero Sector of the hard disc, which stores all vital information.

Thousands of mails were sent out by people, many of them self-professed ‘experts’, warning about the virus. Microsoft blamed it on the use of that pirated Windows software in most computers in India. And today some security companies already claimed they can protect your computer from Ransomware. So the attack turned out to be a business opportunity for some.

Again it boils down to ethics and moral values. Or their distortion.

What India Can Teach Us

J. Donald Walters a k a Swami Kriyananda,  a proponent of yogic teachings,  became in 1948,  at the age of 22, a disciple of  the master, Paramhansa Yogananda, knownfor his famous book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’
HERE IS ONE POST THAT MAKES US THINK. Many Westerners have studied Indian philosophy and spiritualism deeply and considered India their spiritual motherland. He brought back to me memories of a book I cam across in the 1960s, ‘The Ocher Robe’ written by Swami Agehananda  Bharati, an Austrian who had was with the Ramakrishna Mission.
The following post  is by Swami Kriyananda, born in 1926 to American parents in Romania and a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda.
Since my childhood I have   traveled extensively, visiting more than fifty countries. I have enjoyed observing the superficial differences of national outlook and temperament, while at the same time recognizing underneath them a shared humanity. It was in India, however, where I lived for four years, that I met my greatest challenges.