"In the last two weeks, many Indian companies including some banks and pharma companies were targeted by hackers," said Mukul Shrivastava, partner for fraud investigation and dispute services at EY. "In some cases, the companies also paid the extortion money for about 15 computers so that at least the top executives could use their computers." The frequency and ferocity of cyberattacks on Indian companies will intensify as economic progress attracts more such predators, experts said. In none of the cases cited above was the police approached. Indian companies tend to be secretive about such attacks, experts said.
Experts said the decryption key might also have malware that will allow hackers access in the future. In May last year, two Indian conglomerates had to pay about $5 million each after hackers breached their systems. The hackers, suspected to be operating from the Middle East, threatened to leak information to the Indian government if the ransom wasn't delivered. Both are said to have paid up.