As cyber attacks rise, India sets up central command to fight back

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by SpArK, May 15, 2011.

  1. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2010
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    As cyber attacks rise, India sets up central command to fight back

    Alarmed over rising cyber attacks from “White hats” in Pakistan and the Chinese “Honker Union” on Indian websites and computer networks, the Manmohan Singh government is in the process of establishing a Cyber Command & Control Authority.

    The recent efforts of hackers from mafia groups in erstwhile Soviet Union countries to penetrate even the well-protected defence network prompted the government to set up a central command rather than leave it to each ministry and department to handle the problem.

    A senior official involved with the cyber command programme told DNA that despite intelligence agencies issuing “regular warnings against possible hacking”, there had been little success in countering the attacks, forcing the change in approach from the government. However, the minister for communications and IT, Sachin Pilot, won’t go beyond saying that “the government has formulated a crisis management plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism”.

    A crucial aspect of fighting a cyber attack is to launch a counter-attack, with the help of private IT experts if required. These experts are known as “white hats” if they work for state agencies. For example, when Delhi police recently arrested a software engineer Bhupinder Singh in a hacking case, it discovered that the person had once hacked some key computer networks in Pakistan. Bhupinder Singh is in fact considered amongst theworld’s ace cyber hackers and worked for a fee.

    The white hats may work for the government without being directly on the rolls. The “black hats”, on the other hand, are hackers who obtain sensitive data for criminal activities. The Chinese hackers, known as Honker Union, who succeeded in penetrating Google servers last year and even broke the source code of Microsoft, are believed to have state patronage.

    The need to establish a unified cyber Command is considered vital because cyber attacks are going to be part of future warfare.

    There was some debate over whether this command should be under one of the ministries or directly under the prime minister, but now it has been placed under the National Security Adviser who reports to the PM.

    It is learnt that officials in the national security apparatus have already interacted with the US, whose CYBYERCOMM works as a central command. The need for it was felt when websites of NASA, the state department and commerce department were hacked in 2007. The hackers disabled 2000 computers of theUS Army and also penetrated the networks of VISA, MasterCard and Paypal. In Britain, the parliament’s website faced the same fate, following which a cyber command on the lines of the US system was established at a cost of 650 million pounds. The US is also believed to have carried out cyber warfare by infecting the Iranian nuclear network with the Stuxnet computer worm.

    In a confidential dossier, the US informed India that more than 100 attacks take place every day from all over the world to break its security network. It is in this backdrop that India is now establishing its own central cyber command authority under the PMO.

    As cyber attacks rise, India sets up central command to fight back - India - DNA

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