Indian Emergency Response Team Needs An Upgrade Real Bad
According to a PTI report, 199 government websites have been defaced by foreign hackers in the last six months. This list ironically includes the website for the Central Bureau of Investigation as well.
"The website of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was defaced by a foreign hacker 'Pakistan Cyber Army' on December 3, 2010. In addition to this, a total of 198 government websites were defaced by foreign hackers in the past six months," Minister of State for Communications and IT Gurudas Kamat said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, as quoted by PTI. Kamat said a total of 420 cases were registered under the IT Act 2000 in 2009.
Kamat also added that measures were being taken to curb such wanton hacking. Some of the security checkguards in place will include audits of all new government websites and applications and engaging the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to improve safety enforcements. As you may have noticed, like most government initiatives, these security measures are also appropriately vague.
The country does have a Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, precisely to deal with emergencies of this nature. CERT-In is the National Incidence Response Center for major computer security incidents in the Indian cyber community. Unfortunately, the footer of the site says it was last updated on October 2008. It is a pity when private antivirus companies update their security information several times daily, the very body that is responsible to respond to cyber emergencies is lagging 2.5 years behind.
The Press section of the website, which has a red 'New' sign right next to it, lists May 6, 2010 as the last day when a media release was issued. Ironically, that release also talks about the plans the government has taken to detect and prevent cyber attacks/espionages. The release also adds that as per existing computer security guidelines issued by Government, no sensitive information is to be stored on the systems that are connected to Internet.
It seems that is the big plan we have to protect ourselves from the dangers of the Internet. Bring back stand-alone machines!