Ministry of Defence: Only one hacking attack attempted in three years

In July 2012, we have reported about suspected Chinese hackers attempted to lift classified data from maximum security, non-internet connected PCs via malware hidden on USB drives in Vizag. Following the suspected hacking, Indian Navy has completed a Board of Inquiry, which was believed to have indicted at least six mid-level officers for procedural lapses that led to the security breach. However, according to Defence Minister, AK Antony none of these computers were found to be compromised in the suspected hacking.

According to the government, the Indian defence services have a robust defensive mechanism in place to thwart hacking attacks of any nature. The government claims that over the past three years, only one instance of attempted hacking on computers belonging to defence sector has come to notice. There were intelligence reports in November 2011 about the probable compromise of computers of Eastern Naval Command based in Visakhapatnam. However, none of these computers were found to be compromised in the suspected hacking.

As far as hacking of government website is concerned in 2012, according to data released by Communication and IT Department around 133 government websites fell prey to hackers in the first three months (till March) of 2012. As per incidents reported to and tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response team (CERT), a total number of 92, 204, 248 government websites were hacked during the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Has government turned more savvy? (Government is setting up Cyber Coordination Centre to prevent cyber attacks). Plus, it is commendable that Government was quick to narrow down the sources of the recent social media rumour campaigns and is acting on it.

The signs are there, and we certainly hope so!

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