Panel formed to specify norms for networks to prevent hacking

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by nandu, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Panel formed to specify norms for networks to prevent hacking

    NEW DELHI: India has formed a high-powered committee with members from the Intelligence Bureau, spy agency RAW, telecommunications department,home ministry and Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore), among others, to specify audit norms for all communication networks to prevent hacking.

    This committee will also spell out rules to monitor the functioning and operations of telecom gear makers who maintain and run the networks of mobile service providers. It will also help develop capabilities to test if any domestic communication and internet-related networks are being penetrated by external forces.

    Government officials maintained that this committee was not a response to Chinese hackers exfiltrating sensitive information regarding Indian missile programmes, diplomatic communiques and its internal assessment on the Maoist threat in its eastern states.

    They added that the committee was formed early this year, much before Tuesday’s report by Canadian researchers who said that they had unearthed a sustained campaign by Chinese hackers that has badly mauled India’s cyber armour. Experts feel this committee’s formation may be linked to several breaches in the country’s defence networks which have been happening over the last twelve months.

    Other members of this committee include members from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of Telecom Engineering Cell, Cabinet Secretariat, National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC).

    In another move to strengthen the country’s communications network, a parliamentary committee has sanctioned Rs 50 crore in a bid to design an indigenous microprocessor, as currently all electronic equipment carries foreign chips.

    According to the draft proposal for an India microprocessor, the Indian Army’s WAN (Wide Area Network), hypothetically, can still be activated wirelessly by foreign parties to transfer information or compromise it, even if it is cut off from other networks. Security analysts said a domestically-produced microprocessor is required as this hardware is used in embedded systems in routers, networks, missile guidance systems, satellites and nuclear power plants. The Rs 50-crore budget will be a part of the existing 11th plan. More money for the India microprocessor will be released as the 12th five year plan comes into force next year.

    International media reports said the UK government held some meetings last year on the same issue as a large portion of BT’s telecom equipment was being supplied by Chinese vendors.

    As part of a new security initiative, the telecoms department has also told all mobile phone companies that any software deployed on their networks that is developed by foreign firms will now be scrutinised by India’s intelligence agencies.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...ks-to-prevent-hacking/articleshow/5772235.cms
     
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  3. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Govt looking into Chinese hacking of sensitive data

    New Delhi: Government is "very carefully" looking into reports of hacking of sensitive data at the National Security Council Secretariat and other key ministries by some Chinese computer network.

    Investigations have suggested that computers in the secretariat were infected which made them vulnerable to Chinese hackers who managed to access sensitive documents. "There are reports. We are looking into it very carefully," Home Minister P Chidamabaram said.

    According to a Canadian firm SecDev Group, which investigated the hacking of the Dalai Lama's computer in late 2008, as many as 12 computers of NIC had been affected by activities of Chinese hackers.

    The investigation report said the GhostNet system directs the infected computers to download a Trojan, known as ghost RAT, which allows attackers to gain complete, real-time control. The ghost RAT is consistently controlled from commercial internet access accounts located on the island of Hainan in China.

    The report surprised the government as it mentioned that computers in nine Indian Missions abroad which included key countries like the US and the UK had been penetrated by the Chinese hackers.

    An email message arrives in the target's inbox carrying the malware in an attachment or web link. The attackers' objective is to get the target to open the attachment or malicious link so that the malicious code can be executed, it said.

    "Our investigation reveals that GhostNet is capable of taking full control of infected computers, including searching and downloading specific files, and covertly operating attached devices, including microphones and web cameras."

    "China is actively developing an operational capacity in cyberspace, correctly identifying it as the domain in which it can achieve strategic parity, if not superiority, over the military establishments of the United States and its allies."

    "Chinese cyber warfare doctrine is well developed, and significant resources have been invested by the People's Liberation Army and security services in developing defensive and offensive capabilities," the report said.

    The report said that at least 14 documents, including two marked secret, were stolen from NSCS computers. "The exfiltrated documents focus on India's security situation in the states of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura as well as the Naxalites, Maoists, and what is referred to as 'left wing extremism'," the report said.

    http://www.in.com/news/science-tech...88bcf75901b5242425982409c9d744789bf944-1.html
     

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