GSTN operates on Linux, immune to ransomware attack: CEO

Business Standard By Press Trust of India May 15, 2017. 16:36 IST

GSTN will complete the beta testing of its software on Tuesday

GSTN's Chief Executive Officer Prakash Kumar

Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), set up to provide information technology (IT) infrastructure for GST rollout, will not be impacted by the WannaCry ransomware attack, as its systems do not run on Microsoft software, the network's Chief Executive Officer Prakash Kumar said on Monday.

GSTN is gearing up to handle about 3 billion invoices every month under the new indirect tax regime and will complete the beta testing of its software on Tuesday.

"Our software is not based on Microsoft windows operating system and hence we are immune. We operate on Linux software which is not affected by the ransomware attack," Kumar told PTI.

GSTN has already assured stakeholders that all their data will be stored in an encrypted form and only the taxpayer and the assessing officer will have access to the information.

The company has been set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to central and state governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for the implementation of GST.

More than 60 lakh excise, service tax, and value-added tax (VAT) assessees have enrolled on the GSTN portal between November 8, 2016, and April 30, 2017. Currently, there is 80 lakh such assessees.

Global ransomware attack WannaCry infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP, locking access to files on the computer. The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about $300 in crypto- currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device. Reports suggest that over 2 lakh systems globally could have been infected by the malicious software.

The ransomware has hit various IT systems in more than 150 countries, including Russia and the UK, in one of the most widespread cyber attacks in history.

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