Is India ready for cyber wars?


Samir Sachdeva | December 7, 2010

The hacking of the website of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by a group calling itself “Pakistani cyber army” has once again brought the spotlight on India's cyber-preparedness. The development follows a recent cyber attack on 35 Pakistan government websites in which the “Indian cyber army” was blamed by the Pakistan authorities.

Earlier, a report by a Canadian think-tank had claimed Chinese cyber espionage that compromised government computer systems in India.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC), which hosts a majority of these websites, claims to have high levels of cyber security. Various intelligence agencies had asked the prime minister's office and all ministries, especially defence, external affairs and home, to not connect official computers/laptops to internet.

The national technical and research organisation (NTRO) has also circulated dos and don’ts for cyber security. The Indian computer emergency response team (CERT-In) periodically issues various guidelines to address various vulnerabilities.

Pakistan may not have a cyber warfare doctrine and the attacks may be one of the many infrequent attacks on Indian websites. But India’s another neighbour, China has a cyber warfare doctrine which is not only well developed but significant resources are invested in the same by Chinese security services and the People's Liberation Army.

The hacking of the website of India’s key investigating agency has raised serious questions on India’s preparedness for cyber warfare. It appears India lacks defensive and offensive capabilities in cyber warfare. Therefore, the question: is India ready for cyber warfare?



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