09 December 2011

India is a Sitting Duck in the Cyber Battlefield


In June 2010, ONGC oil rigs using SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) industrial systems were found to be infected by the same worm. The oil major, whose control systems are run by ABB, didn’t face an immediate threat because the worm was programmed to target Siemens systems. However, with 247 onshore production facilities, 11 offshore processing complexes, 74 drilling rigs and 7,000 wells, all run by a centralised control system, an attack could have taken out India’s entire oil production for days, if not weeks.
Just a few weeks after that shocking discovery, Indian investigators also stumbled upon massive infections in a mega power project in Gujarat using SCADA systems controlling the generation and transmission network in western India. Investigators pieced together the evidence and launched a probe into other vulnerable systems that revealed facts that were too sensitive and complex to be made public. They discovered that the same attack was perfectly capable of knocking off signal and control systems on Delhi Metro’s crucial links, throwing the capital’s most used public transport system into chaos.

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1 comment:

Ashok said...

Wow, what a pleasure to know that we are so vulnerable. In case war with China, they dont have to use their Army or Nukes at all. Just open the gates of some dams being controlled by computers, or disrupt the complete power supply by disrupting disrupting the traffic systems of rails/road/air etc or disrupting the radars systems.

I said pleasure to know becuase we dont deserve anything better. And I am not talking of Govt role, we have been always blaming the Govt for all ills. But the problem lies in our complete dishonesty. Everybody would have heard of complete honesty but the term complete dishonesty hasnt been heard off. But we the Indians have discovered Complete Dishonesty. We cant vote honestly inspite of nobody even seeing us. We cant for the deserving guy becuase we arent bothered about our country, we are more bothered for the guy who promised us job for our son, tranfer for my wife, if nothing like that is possible than the one who is of my caste or my religion. When we are working we are never honest to the organisation that gives us our pay, but we work towards our promotion only. If doing something the organisation stands to loose, we will not even blink eyelid to do it if it improves our chances of promotion. If our seniors are harming the organisation we help them in doind so to ensure they write good report. Then who will work for the organisation and similarly who will work for the country.

Frankly we are not even half evolved as to the western world. Only the better evolved civilisation can understand that such foolhardy selfishness is not the way for development and is only temporary. In war (and wars will be there till the human kind is there) if a nation is not able to defend itself than all wealth created also goes. We arent better evolved and hence we dont desreve anything better.

None in any of our organisation is seriously thinking of the repurcances of neglect in our job. So people who are to approve organisations or approve funds for such organisations that can fight cyber attacks, dont do so because they fell their efforts wont be visible and hence will not help them in any way. People who to hire people for such organisations too feel same. And worst still, the people that have been hired for such jobs arent intrested either because they too are looking for selfish results and in absence of the same they dont feel like working.

So its a pleasure to know such facts. Maybe we really need serious beatings to understand such simple things.

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