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Tanmaya Purohit & Rachit Khatri

Raffles University

CYBER CRIME: THE DEVILS APOCALYPSE


INCLUSIVE OF AN ANALYSIS OF THE INDIAN PERSPECTIVE

Introduction:
With the world where the technology has advanced at an unprecedented rate, the acts of terror have
also seen a change, but only for the worse. A whole new chapter began in the field of crime when
the human civilization developed the internet, the cyber space. In the contemporary world, the
world has witnessed a huge increase in the crimes that have apparently adopted the modernising
trends of cyber warfare. Recent events that have haunted the media revolve mostly around cyber
and online financial crime, large-scale data breaches, and above all, hacking events. Cyber-attacks
represent a whole new trend of disaggregated warfare that is substantially conducted by non-state
collectives.1 It would be indisputable being said that Cyber Crimes or crimes that are
accomplished with the help of digitized technology and means are a rapidly expanding problems.
Malpractices such as identity theft, child exploitation, mass-level data theft, jeopardizing of user
privacy via hacking, continue to surface now and then on the news channels, and the trends show a
rise in their magnitude, frequency and have also seen a rise in the level of effort and skill invested.
It is not easy for a common man to understand how complex is the scenario of the cybercrimes that
are committed throughout the world, for they cannot fathom the vast magnitude of the act, nor that
the victims as well as the criminals may be spread or scattered across the whole nation, and in few
case, throughout the world. If we take a look at the recent cyber-attacks that have bombarded the
media all over the world, we will find events of high profile accounts of cyber-crime. Hacks, data
breaches, theft of personal information, etc. have been rampant in all these attacks. Every step that
we take to make ourselves deceive that we are safe and immune to these sorts of attacks, at that very
same moment, simultaneously, some other talented hacker is devising ways to undermine that
particular security measure. Though it is near impossible to actually put a complete stop these
attacks, because the people who commit these sorts of acts keep themselves up to date with every
step that we take, probably even be a step ahead of us, there are certain ways by which these attacks
can be mitigated. The people who are susceptible to such attacks need to be made aware of the
varying methodology that is used by the hackers to breach there cyber security mechanisms as if
they were working their way through picking a lock of a safe.
The internet, the cyber space was created by us humans to ease our way through the usually
cumbersome tasks of life, like paying bills, transactions and their efficiency and swiftness, etc. and
what not. But the worse of us have created ways to exploit this one system to use for their benefit
while leaving behind a path donned by chaos.

Time and again, certain steps have been taken by the government to battle these crimes, by taking
the battle to the crime on their own turf. There do exist some people in the very same field who
have prioritised countering this evil by helping fight it rather than benefit from the same.
In this paper we will discuss in detail the basics of the contemporary cyber-crime, how it is gaining
increasing relevance in pace with the improvements in the technological realm in the world, how
certain steps have been taken to counter cyber-crime, how they have amended to be at an equal
footing with the change in the methods of crime, and it also recommends the steps that may or may
not be taken keeping in mind the present conditions of the country and the contemporary status of
the cyber-crime statistics.
Times are changing, some may say for the worse, but that wont be doing justice to the drastic
improvements in the cyber-realm, owing to the certain measures that have been taken by the people
with the knowledge of this field, but it has to be said that the worse is not past yet.

1 Johnathan A. Ophardt, Cyber Warfare and the Crime of Aggression: The Need for Individual
Accountability on Tomorrows Battlefield, 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 003

WHATS CYBER-CRIME?
Cyber Crime has varying definitions, all from a different point of view. It may be intentional use of
information technology by cyber terrorists for producing destructive and harmful effects of tangible
and intangible properties, or it may be defined as an act committed or omitted in violation of a law
forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction. It can also be
defined as, Cybercrime is a term used to broadly describe criminal activity in which computers or
computer networks are a tool, a target, or a place of criminal activity and include everything from
electronic cracking to denial of service attacks.2
The scope of cyber-crime is not limited to just one country, but the scope has expanded worldwide,
because the more has the cyber-world expanded, the more inter-connected has the world become.
Every second, roughly 8 new internet users pop up on the grid, and serve as nothing other than more
food for the sharks, ever-active on the cyber world.
The realm of cyber-crime is more is more complicated and advanced for us to comprehend. The
advancements that we have made and the ones that are still in process, in technology, are much
more complex than what any of the common people can comprehend. The boost in technology
being mad has jump-started the process of spread of cybercrime. This paper is an attempt to
analyse the issues that the world is dealing with when we are discussing the topic of cyber-crime
along with the effects that is having on the contemporary scenario with all the effects that it has.
As mentioned, the realm of cyber-crime has diversity, and thereby, the criminals that indulge in it
have many varied names too, depending on their job-profiles. Some of the Cyber-Criminals are as
mentioned below:
a. Crackers: The category that includes most of the sadistic computer virus creators and
distributors who do it just for the sake of the sake of the pleasure.
b. Hackers: Hacking has been defined as an act done with an intention to cause or with the
knowledge that the act may cause loss or damage to the public or an person, by deleting or
altering any information residing in a computer resource or diminishing its value or utility or
affecting it injuriously by any means.3 These individuals prefer invading the computer
systems of others usually for retrieving information for their own purposes.
c. Pranksters: Unlike most of the other criminals that fall under these categories, these
individuals only act by envisaging their act as a prank, or rather a trick, but do not intend an
elongated harm.
d. Career Criminals: These are what may termed to be hard-core criminals in this realm,
because for them, a certain part, but also in many cases, the whole income comes from these
acts of terror. Some of the criminals in these category may be in the act for a part-time role,
while some indulge in it with utmost dedication, and to top it off, some also get themselves
drafted into small to medium ranging gangs to wreak damage in large chunks.
e. Cyber Terrorists: These individuals may just be a routine hacker that intrudes upon a
government website, or some group of cyber-terrorists that hack into an organisations
system and retrieve classified data, as happened with the Sony Picture Ltd., or it may also be
some hacker who floods another site with enough traffic to crash the server. But the act is
still illegal and an infringement to the right of the victim, regardless of the low magnitude of
the harm, if it were the case.
2 Sumanjit Das and Tapaswani Nayak, Impact of Cyber Crime: Issues and Challenges, International Journal
of Engineering Sciences & Emerging Technologies (October, 2013),
http://www.ijeset.com/media/0002/2N12-IJESET0602134A-v6-iss2-142-153.pdf
3 S. 66(1), Information technology Act, 2000

f. Cyber Bullies: The era of bullying of the weak has never gone out of fashion, and now it has
taken a turn for the worse. The harassment of individuals with the aid of internet that
includes vicious posts on several platforms, posting demeaning photos on social-networking
websites, and sending harsh e-mails to the victim are all included in the ambit of Cyber
Bullying along with a lot more.
g. Salami Attackers: These attackers are the ones that indulge in manipulation of financial
accounts, committing financial crimes. The main element of these attacks is that the
alteration made is so insignificant that usually, it doesnt come to notice prima facie.
But first of all, we need to make ourselves clear as to what do we have on our platter when we
are dealing with the dish known as Cyber-Crime.

CATEGORIES OF CYBER CRIME:


Contemporary Cyber-Crime is nothing less than a multi-faceted monster that refuses to back-down,
and the dimensions that it has begun to adopt are becoming all the more threatening.
Based on the intended targets of intrusion, Cyber-Crime can be divided into the following divisions:

a. Data Crime:4
i.

Data Interception:

In such cases, the person keeps a tab on the exchange of data packets with the intention to
obtain certain information. The sole purpose may be to gather the information in the first
place or may have future intents to use that gathered information to satiate some other needs.
In most sorts of these attacks, the person responsible for the attack prefers to sit back while
retrieving the information that he/she needs. And the one element in these attacks that is
always common is that the attacker is never the intended recipient of the data that has been
obtained.

ii.

Data Modification:

These types of attacks generally include an external party to a certain transaction, or a deal,
interfering in the middle of the transmission of the data of the deal, anonymously and
unknowingly, and tapping into the main stream of data, altering it for their benefit, before
retransmitting it. Due to these sort of attacks, it is vital for the communications of data to be
secured and to be private. Unless that is done, the data is left vulnerable to poaching from
malicious third parties to lead to a computer crime.

iii.

Data Theft:

It is basically a term that is used to define worldwide the theft of private information that is
obtained illegally by hacking onto the servers of multinational companies and businesses or
from certain individuals. The information generally includes the personal information of the
4 Sumanjit Das and Tapaswani Nayak, Impact of Cyber Crime: Issues and Challenges, International Journal
of Engineering Sciences & Emerging Technologies (October, 2013),
http://www.ijeset.com/media/0002/2N12-IJESET0602134A-v6-iss2-142-153.pdf

victim, such as the passwords, social security numbers, credit cards information, or could
also be confidential corporate information.

b. Access Crime: 5
1. Unauthorized Access:
"Unauthorized access" entails approaching, trespassing within, communicating with,
storing data in, retrieving data from, or otherwise intercepting and changing computer
resources without consent. These laws relate to either or both, or any other actions that
interfere with computers, systems, programs or networks. 6
2. Virus Dissemination:
Viruses or contaminants are a set of computer instructions that are designed to modify,
damage, destroy, record, or transmit information within a computer system or network
without the permission of the owner. Generally, they are designed to infect other
computer programs or computer data, consume resources, modify, destroy, record or
transmit data, and disrupt normal operation of a computer system. 7

c. Related Crimes:
The other cyber-related crimes included the crime of assisting in the happening of the cybercrimes. The person who is acting as an accessory to the carrying-out of the cyber-crime is also
deemed to be a criminal. Other such crimes include the crimes that revolve around the cyber
world are those of Computer-Related Forgery and Fraud, and Content Related Crimes, which
include pornography, cyber-defamation, cyber-threats, etc. The amount that is being paid as
compensation for these acts is in a lot of number figures. It can and should be avoided so that it
can be alternatively used for the welfare of other people.

Having enlisted the categories in which we find cyber-crime, it is also important that we glimpse at
the types that it becomes, when it is being executed.

CATEGORIES OF CYBER CRIME:


Following are the types of cyber-crimes that are witnessed in the world by the victims when
they are at the receiving end of the attacks:
a. Theft of Telecommunication Services:8
5 Ibid.
6 Computer Crime Statuses, National Conference of State Legislatures, available at
http://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/computer-hacking-andunauthorized-access-laws.aspx, last seen on 17/06/2016
7 Ibid.

This happens to be a long-used method of hackers to commit criminal acts, where all you
have to do is obtain the control of a target organizations telephone switchboard (PBX), and
thereby not only obtain access to the incoming and outgoing telephone exchange of that
particular organization, but also allow to make your own calls or sell call time illegally to
third parties. Some who use this method, loop between the PBX9 systems to evade detection.

b. Distribution of Offensive Materials: 10


Under this masthead come the distribution of sexually-explicit material, promotion of racist
propaganda and the likes, for the sole of purpose to defaming someone or incite differences,
along with the acts of harassments via the use of cyber networks, and also the act of cyberstalking, where a recipient victim is sent persistent messages, often threatening.

c. Electronic Money Laundering & Tax Evasion: 11


It has been a while since the facility of fund transfers via electronic means have helped cloak
the acts of crime that are meant for the sole intent of concealing the ill-gotten remains of
ones shady acts. And not only that, it is also being used by many people to conceal even the
legitimately drawn income with the sole purpose of evasion of taxes that are being imposed
upon them. The development of informal banking institutions and parallel banking systems
has permitted the wrongdoers to bypass the supervision of the central banks systems, while
monitoring the cash flow.

d. Electronic Vandalism, Terrorism and Extortion:12


The present day civilization is completely dependent upon the modern day
telecommunications systems due to their enormously big role in our lives, that if even a
slight interruption were to surface, it may cause potentially catastrophic consequences. They
may be targeted to intentionally cause disruption and damage, or just for the inconvenience
of the targets, but they sure have the capacity to cause massive harm.

e. Sales and Investment Fraud: 13


With the increase in the reliability on e-commerce and digitalised telecommunications, the
use of the same advanced technologies in going to be done for abetting the violation of the
8 Supra at 5.
9 A private branch exchange (PBX) is a telephone exchange or switching system that serves a private
organization and performs concentration of central office lines or trunks and provides intercommunication
between a large numbers of telephone stations in the organization.
10 Supra at 8.
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid.
13 Ibid.

law. The applications of this technology is bound to be one day be for malicious and
fraudulent intents. There is an endless stream of opportunities for the fraudsters to steal from
victims over the world, because their opportunities vary from theft of stocks and bonds to
leases for ATMs and worldwide telephone lotteries, and every other person fall prey to their
traps all the time.
f. Electronic Funds Transfer Fraud: 14
The online telecommunications systems have now begun to be largely used for wire
transfers of large amounts of money, and thereby they also begun to face the risk of being
intercepted by the hackers and also being diverted for their own use. The modern technology
can be and is being used to intercept the credit card details and then for counterfeiting these
details.
The branch of cyber-crime is haunting of every aspect of life that is being lived by people belonging
to every tier of society in the world. The impacts of cyber-crime are becoming large in magnitude
every second.

IMPACT OF CYBER CRIME:


a. Impact on Society:
No society that has existed to this date has ever been devoid crime, as its an integral part
of the society. A society without crime is myth. Committing crime is an intrinsic part of
the human behaviour and instinct. Crime in society is increasing at an unprecedented
rate. Cyber-crime has had a negative impact on the society. The victims of cyber-crime
in the society may lose everything that is of value in the society, be it safety, peace,
money, and property as well.
b. Impact of Cyber-crime on the Teenage Population in the country:
The present teenage population is faced with the worst fear in their lives, and that fear
has taken the form of cyber-bullying. This age-group is most exposed to the cyber world,
and even among them, the most susceptible to cyber-bullying is the number of females.
Social networking sites may be gaining popularity, but they are also used as a means for
cyber-bullying all around the world. The overall effect of cyber-bullying is rather
alarming as some cases have also resulted in the victims inflicting harm upon
themselves.
c. Impacts of Cyber-Crime on Private Lives and Businesses:
Cyber-Crime has few attributes intrinsic to it, and they are the ones of invading,
hazardous and silent. It is intrusive in the private lives of the victims, potentially
dangerous as to the effects that it has on their lives, and the most important of them all, it
is silent as to its approach. You wont even know what hit you until the hacker is miles
away, secure in his/her bunker. The information may have been taken, and you wont
even know it for days. The effects are catastrophic, and the data stolen is also
irretrievable. There are many businesses and companies that are victim of cyber-crime,
and are not even aware of the virus thats consuming them from within.
14

d. Other Impacts:
Other than the teenagers, the criminal world is also attracting the present youth towards
it, and not only just attracted, some are already delved too deep into it to realize that
what they are doing is wrong. The attraction towards the cyber-world is destroying the
active world of the teenagers. The cyber-attacks are dearly costing the companies for
protective measures that they have to taker against them. Other than these, the cyber
world is also increasing the concern for sexual solicitation in the exclusive chat rooms
on social networking websites. Teens need to be made aware towards the sexual
exploitation that occurs through use of cyber means. Apart from these aspects, it is
constantly spoiling the children and their habits. It has become a trend among the teens
that spend their most of time online to use abbreviations instead of proper writing
methods.
CONTEMPORARY PICTURE OF CYBER-CRIME:
In February 2014, eBays online system was breached after some of its employees
credentials were stolen, leading to the compromise of some 145 million account holders
(Finkle, Chatterjee and Maan 2014). In July, the American bank JPMorgan Chase was
hacked, with online bandits making off with account information on approximately 76
million households and some eight million small businesses (Silver-Greenberg, Goldstein
and Perlroth 2014). In November, Sony Pictures was subject to a sophisticated cyber-attack,
causing massive physical damage to its computer systems and exposing sensitive emails
regarding pay disparities and personal relationships. In December 2014, Sony estimated that
the remediation and investigation costs of the hack could enter into the $100 million 15 range
(Richwine 2014). What is more, these are just a few of the publicly known breaches.16
The recent and the most happening attack was on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which turned
more heads towards it. At 8.30, on the November 24th, the Monday before Thanksgiving,
Amy Pascal (Chairperson of Sony Pictures Ltd.), arrived in her office in the Thalberg
building, in Culver City, California. Like common belief, she also believed the secrets of the
company secure, as had been believed in the time of Mayer, within the walls of the
soundproof telephone room adjoining his room. But Amy did not feel the need of a
soundproof room. Like everybody in the present entertainment industry these days, she used
the e-mails to communicate, and believed it to be safe. But this particular morning, as she
began her day, she discovered that a bizarre specter had hijacked her computer. The screen
of her computer now glowed with a blood-red skeleton baring its fangs, and bearing the
words: Hacked by #GOP. Superimposed over the skeleton was an ominous warning:
Weve obtained all your internal data including your secrets and top secrets.
If you dont obey us, well release data shown below to the world.
The data that had been enumerated included five links that would turn out to be the internal
records of the entertainment giant. 17
15 All in US Dollars.
16 Eric Jardine, Global Cyberspace is Safer than You Think: Real Trends In Cybercrime, No. 16 July,
2015, Global Commission on Internet Governance, available at https://ourinternetfiles.s3.amazonaws.com/publications/no-16_Web.pdf, last seen on 19/06/2016.

The group had been identified as the Guardians of Peace, and the amount of data that they
had stolen amounted to a total of 100 Terabytes. The attack was not just a theft of their data
from the computer systems, but the entire system had been destroyed by a firebomb.
Methodically, the hackers posted the data that they had stolen on various sites that are meant
for free sharing, constituting a total of 8 such postings, each time some new sensitive
information, including payslips of the top executives of Sony Communication, to the private
details of the employees of the Entertainment giant. It also released some movies for free
streaming online, such as Annie, Fury and Still Alice. The hackers also revealed the private
correspondences of Amy Pascal with several dignified people that cause quite a lot of
discomfort, and also was a reason for disagreement with the White House.
On December 19th, the FBI issued a statement that said that they had enough evidence to
conclude that the Government of North Korea had been behind the hack. In 2010, the U.S.
National Security Agency hacked into the North Korean computer network, to track the
countrys nuclear arms programme.
But when North Korea knocked out almost 50,000 computers at South Korean banks and
media companies in March 2013, the focus shifted to cyber-warfare. North Korean four-star
general Kim Yong Chol reportedly had given the order to go after Sony, and members of the
countrys elite hacking unit, 6,000 hackers strong, based in both North Korea and China,
began spear-phishing, sending e-mails that, with one click by a Sony employee, would
allow the hackers access to, and eventual control of, Sonys computer network.18
These attacks make it clear that the hackers are gaining more and more confidence and they
are aiming large. They have proven that they can attack when and where they want, and they
come when we dont expect them to. What we have to understand is that we cant see them
coming, and thereby we have stronghold ourselves, and become immune to their attacks.
The world is now realizing cyber-threat as one that can affect them drastically. When
considering the impact of cyberspace on international law, it is important to note the
differences between the variable levels of malicious cyber activity, which include cybercrime, cyber espionage, cyber terrorism, cyber-attacks, and cyber warfare. 19
The intentions of the perpetrator and the effects of the act are one useful way to classify the
malicious activity.20 Cyber-crime is activity conducted for profit, primarily motivated by
financial gain or notoriety.
INDIAs POSITION IN THE WORLD OF CYBER-WARFARE:

17 Mark Seal, An Exclusive Look at Sonys Hacking Saga, March 2015, Vanity Fair, Hollywood, available at
http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/02/sony-hacking-seth-rogen-evan-goldberg, last seen on
19/06/2016.
18 Ibid.
19 Technology Quarterly-Cyber Warfare: Marching Off to Cyberwar, THE ECONOMIST, Dec. 6, 2008, at
71, available at 2008 WLNR 23421990 [hereinafter ECONOMIST].
20 Solce, The Battlefield of Cyberspace: The Inevitable New Military Branch - The Cyber Force, 18 ALB.
L.J. SCI. & TECH. 293, 301 (2008).

India, as we all know, is a developing country. Despite it being in the developmental stage, it
has not been exempted from the sights of the hackers worldwide, and is still potentially
within the scopes of being under siege from cyber-attacks. The Indian populace is now
becoming aware of the potential attackers that are prowling over the internet, looking for
opportunities. Indian Government has also enabled a particular statute, solely dedicated to
crimes that are committed related to technology and cyber-world, Namely the Information
Technology Act, 2000. To update it with the definitions of the latest developments in the
field, it was also amended in the year 2008. As of a report published in the Times of India, in
2015, 97 cases were registered under the Information Technology Act, 2000, where the city
of Mumbai stayed on the top with 933 such offences. The cyber criminals have shown
significant increment in their activity. 21
The Information Technology Act, 2000 was enacted in the year 2000, and is based on the Model
Law of E-Commerce adopted by UNICTRAL in 1996. 22 The preamble of the act indicates to three
main objectives, firstly, to provide legal recognition for transactions carried out through electronic
means, secondly, to facilitate the electronic filing of documents with government agencies, and
thirdly to amend certain Acts, inter alia, the Indian Penal Code,1860, Indian Evidence Act, 1872. 23
The act has certainly brought about recognition and legal validity for the use of electronic
documents and digital signatures. The previous Information Technology Act had become outdated
as the technological developments had outpaced the recognition of the crimes that can be committed
using the developed technology. The Act as of now recognises the following acts using
technological means as crimes under itself:
CRIMES24
SR.NO
.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

CRIME

SECTION UNDER
THE IT ACT
Tampering with computer source Documents.
Section 65
Hacking with Computer Systems, Data Alteration.
Section 66
Sending offensive messages through communication service etc.
Section 66A
Dishonestly receiving stolen computer resources or
Section 66B
communication device.
Identity Theft
Section 66C
Cheating by personation by using computer resource
Section 66D
Violation of privacy
Section 66E
Cyber Terrorism
Section 66F
Publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form
Section 67
Publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually
Section 67A
explicit act, etc. in electronic form
Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting
Section 67B

21 Soumitra Bose, 97 cases registered under IT Act in 2015, The Times of India, Jan 17, 2016, available at
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/97-cases-registered-under-IT-Act-in2015/articleshow/50617505.cms
22 Karnika Seth, IT Act 2000 vs. 2008 Implementation, Challenges, and the Role of Adjudicating
Officers, National Seminar on Enforcement of Cyberlaw, New Delhi, May 8 th, 2010.
23 Ibid.
24 As under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.

children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form


Preservation and Retention of information by intermediaries
Powers to issue directions for interception or monitoring or
decryption of any information through any computer resource
Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any
information through any computer resource
Power to authorize to monitor and collect traffic data or
information through any computer resource for Cyber Security
Un-authorized access to protected system
Penalty for misrepresentation
Breach of confidentiality and privacy
Publishing False digital signature certificates
Publication for fraudulent purpose
Act to apply for offence or contraventions committed outside
India

Section 67C
Section 69
Section 69A
Section 69B
Section 70
Section 71
Section 72
Section 73
Section 74
Section 75

Other than the aforementioned crimes, some crimes that have the essence of malicious intent
inherent in them have been included under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. They are:
CRIMES25
SR.
NO.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

CRIMES
Sending threatening messages by e-mail
Sending defamatory messages by e-mail
Bogus Websites, Cyber Fraud
E-Mail Spoofing
Making a False Document
Forgery for the Purpose of Cheating
Forgery for the purpose of harming reputation
Web Jacking
E-Mail Abuse
Criminal Intimidation by an anonymous communication
Printing etc. of grossly indecent or scurrilous matter or
matter intended for Blackmail
Sale, etc., of obscene objects to young person
Theft of Computer Hardware

25 As under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

SECTION UNDER THE


INDIAN PENAL CODE
Section 503
Section 499
Section 420
Section 463
Section 464
Section 468
Section 469
Section 383
Section 500
Section 507
Section 292A
Section 293
Section 378

14.
15.

Punishment for Theft


Obscene acts or Songs

Section 379
Section 294

Other than these enumerated crimes, there are also provisions forbidding the sales of arms and
ammunitions online such as the Arms Act, 1959. But the question that retains itself is that whether
the country, even after having enforced such laws and countermeasures, is ready to face a fullfrontal cyber-attack?
HOW PREPARED IS INDIA FOR CYBER-WARFARE?
All the super-powers around the world, all the developed countries have been and still are
developing their own personal cyber-armies. Reports say that the North Korean government
is scouring universities and high schools for the brightest students to send them to friendly
countries and have then trained in Cyber-Warfare. China has long since been recruiting
young adults, following in the footsteps of Israels Talpoit Program, which was launched in
1979, under which math-proficient teenagers were recruited to boost the countrys
technological prowess.
But, amidst all these tech-centred countries, where does India stand?
How prepared is India? The country's core assets such as power grids and financial and
transport networks are fast getting connected to the internet and more official data are
getting stored online. Hostile neighbours and wily groups of global and local extremists are
equipping themselves in no-holds-barred cyber warfare the Assam riots a few months ago
that triggered a widespread exodus of north eastern students from cities such as Bangalore
confirmed the subversive games they play through social networks.
According to a home ministry official, the most frequently attacked networks include the
Prime Minister's Office and the ministry of external affairs. According to Gulshan Rai, Head
of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), India is tapping into a pool
of young talent to fortify its anti-cyber war strength. Rai is expected to become the first
national cyber security coordinator (NCSC), a position being created to coordinate among
all cyber agencies in the country. Rai notes that steps have been taken to "involve" young
people in R&D for cyber security.
The developments that we have made in the past years have been very significant in our
development as a cyber-secure nation. One of the landmarks of that progress would be the
day when at least 36 of the Pakistani government websites were hacked by the Indian
Hackers who were going by the name Indian Cyber Army. Some of the websites had been
rendered inaccessible while others had been partially damaged. The websites included the
website of the Pakistan Army and the others belong to different ministries, including the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Pakistan
Computer Bureau and Council of Islamic Ideology etc. 26
Nowadays, a growing percentage of access is through live internet connections, where the
users are constantly connected in cyber-space across physical and logical networks, and
26 36 Government sites Hacked by the Indian Cyber Army, The Express Tribune, Pakistan, November
30th, 2010, available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/83967/36-government-websites-hacked-by-indian-cyberarmy/, last seen on 20/06/2016.

also international boundaries. The IT segment has become vital for the development of
the complete infrastructure of the country, and thereby it is necessary to provide
operational stability and security to the critical information for the economic security of
the country. The importance of the IT field has gained growing visibility in the recent
years, and that is because of the growing cyber-crime in the country and the rapid growth
of identity theft and increasing financial fraud. 27
In this direction, the deliberations of the National Information Board (NIB), National
Security Council (NSC) have stressed the importance of a national strategy on cyber
security, development of national capabilities for ensuring ample protection of crucial
information infrastructures including rapid response and remediation to security incidents.
In the current environment of elevated risk created by the vulnerabilities and threats to the
IT infrastructure, cyber security is no more merely a paperwork drill.28
Other fellow countries are capable of launching devastating cyber-attacks on us that could
damage both the IT infrastructure and the economic growth pace of the country, and
simultaneously leave us further vulnerable to destruction. The Government is making efforts
to identify the core services that need to be protected from electronic attacks and is seeking
to work with organizations responsible for these systems so that their services are secured in
a way that is proportional to the threat perception. The critical sectors include defence,
finance, energy, transportation and telecommunications. CERT-In has taken steps to
implement National Information Security Assurance Programme (NISAP) to create
awareness in government and critical sector organisations and to develop and implement
information security policy and information security best practices based on ISO/IEC 27001
for protection of their infrastructure. But these efforts are simply not enough for the overall
immunity of the country towards the cyber war that is raging in cyber-space. Whatever steps
we take, they have to be upgraded and updated forever, for the technology wont stop for
you to catch on.

27 Dr. Atul Bamrara, The Challenge of Cyber Crime in India: The Role of Government, SSRN Electronic
Journal, Volume 3, No. 3, Jan, 2012, pp. 127 - 134
28 Ibid.