09 December 2011

Virtual Attack, Real Threat

Cyber warfare is emerging as the new dimension of war
New Delhi: Foreign entities penetrated into the servers at the National Informatics Centre (NIC) servers to launch attacks on other countries including Chinese servers, read a leading newspaper headline, few days back. The servers at NIC hold crucial information of the official websites and emails of the Indian government. The websites of PMO, embassies, law enforcement and intelligence agencies are continuously probed to extract sensitive information related to the national security. Information on our government servers are constantly under threat. These are far more sophisticated attacks than some mischievous hacker groups.
On 19 October 2011, Symantec has released a report on a new threat called Duqu. A server in Mumbai was shut after the initial reports of Symantec Corporation revealed that they had found out that it was compromised.

It was used as a command and control server to manage other machines and was communicating with the computers that were infected with the Duqu malware. This mysterious computer virus, according to the report, is similar to the Stuxnet which created havoc in Iran’s nuclear power plant and disrupted its production temporarily. The Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) like Stuxnet and Duqu has the potential to target a critical infrastructure and according to the reports, India is one of the highly infected countries to these advanced threats.

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