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India to Exercise Cyber Muscle

Ioana Jelea

June 11, 2012

India to Exercise Cyber Muscle

The Indian government plans to strengthen its cyber protection measures and appoint specific agencies to be prepared to carry out cyber attacks on other countries, according to unofficial sources cited by The Times of India.

The two government bodies in charge of potential cyber offensives are the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and National Technical Research Organization (NTRO), while other agencies would only have intelligence-gathering clearance. NTRO should guard critical infrastructures, while CERT-IN (Computer Emergency Response Team India) would be responsible for more general cyber space protection.

The process for approving the national cyber infrastructure policy was apparently accelerated by the increase in foreign attempts to mine Indian critical networks for sensitive information. Indian authorities have expressed concern about Stuxnet infecting government systems.

“It was probably unintentional, but an intentional attack on India’s critical infrastructure cannot be ruled out,” a senior official stated for the Times of India. “We haven’t yet seen a cyber attack, but only intelligence gathering. An attack that can debilitate our infrastructure is what we must be prepared for,” added the official.

These new cyber defense measures come as a long awaited reaction to a long history of attacks against Indian government sites. In December 2010, Pakistani hackers defaced the web site of India`s Central Bureau of Investigation in what was claimed to be a response to an Indian cyber attack against Pakistan. More recently, Anonymous launched “Operation India” and defaced several state and private web sites as part of a protest against internet censorship.

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