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  • 07 March, 2021

  • 4 Min Read

Recent Cyber Attacks & India's Cyber Security Agencies

  • Recently, the Union Power Ministry said that State-sponsored Chinese hacker groups targeted various Indian power centres.
  • India has been attacked by suspected Chinese state-sponsored groups multiple times in the past.
  • In 2009, a suspected cyber espionage network dubbed GhostNet was found to be targeting the Tibetan government in exile in India, and many Indian embassies.
  • There were a number of subsequent attacks that targeted India. Such as:
    • Stuxnet which had also taken down nuclear reactors in Iran.
    • Suckfly, which targeted not just government but also private entities including a firm that provided tech support to the National Stock Exchange.
    • Dtrack which first targeted Indian banks, and later the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in 2019.
  • Documents released by WikiLeaks show that groups such as the CIA’s UMBRAGE project have advanced capabilities of carrying false flag attacks.

Institutional security:

  • The National Security Council, chaired by the National Security Adviser (NSA), plays a key role in shaping India’s cyber policy ecosystem.
  • The NSA also chairs the National Information Board, which is meant to be the apex body for cross-ministry coordination on cybersecurity policymaking.
  • The National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre established under the National Technical Research Organisation in January 2014 was mandated to facilitate the protection of critical information infrastructure.
  • In 2015, the Prime Minister established the office of the National Cyber Security Coordinator who advises the Prime Minister on strategic cybersecurity issues.
  • India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which is the nodal entity responding to various cybersecurity threats to non-critical infrastructure comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).
  • The Ministry of Defence has recently upgraded the Defence Information Assurance and Research Agency to establish the Defence Cyber Agency, a tri-service command of the Indian armed forces to coordinate and control joint cyber operations, and craft India’s cyber doctrine.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs oversees multiple coordination centres that focus on law enforcement efforts to address cybercrime, espionage and terrorism.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs coordinates India’s cyber diplomacy push, both bilaterally with other countries, and at international fora like the United Nations.

Types of Cyber Crimes

  • Stalking: Cyber stalking is use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk someone
  • Hacking - is a crime, which entails cracking systems and gaining unauthorized access to the data stored in them
  • Phishing - refers to the receipt of unsought emails by customers of financial institutions, asked them to enter their username, password or other personal information to access their account for some reason.
  • Squatting - is the act of registering a famous domain name and then selling it for a fortune
  • Software Piracy - is an illegal reproduction and distribution of software for business or personal use. This is considered to be a type of infringement of copy right and a violation of a license agreement
  • Cyber pornography - includes pornographic websites; pornographic magazines produced using computers (to publish and print the material) and the Internet (to download and transmit pornographic pictures, photos, writings etc).
  • Cyber-terrorism - is the adaptation of terrorism to computer resources, whose purpose is to cause fear in its victims by attacking electronic resources
  • Cyber Defamation - occurs when defamation takes place with the help of computers and / or the Internet. E.g. someone publishes defamatory matter about someone on a website or sends e-mails containing defamatory information to all of that person's friends

Source: TH

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