Cybersecurity Current Affairs

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and US in field of Cyber Security

The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-ln) and the US Homeland Security Department on cooperation in the field of Cyber Security.

The MoU was signed in January 2017 in New Delhi. It intends to promote closer co-operation and exchange of information pertaining to the Cyber Security between both strategic partners in accordance with the relevant laws, rules and regulations and on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and reciprocity.

About CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team)
  • CERT-In is a government-mandated nodal agency for information technology (IT) security established in 2004 under the aegis of the Indian Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Electronics and IT.
  • According to the provisions of the IT Amendment Act, 2008, CERT-In is responsible for overseeing administration of the Act.
  • CERT-In’s Mandate: Protect Indian cyberspace and software infrastructure against destructive and hacking activities.
  • Respond to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country.
  • Issue guidelines, vulnerability notes, advisories, and whitepapers regarding to information security practices, prevention, procedures, response and reporting of cyber security incidents.

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Government launches Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi for Botnet cleaning and Malware analysis.

It was launched by Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad as part of Union Government’s ambitious digital India initiative to create a secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections.

Besides, minister also launched some cyber security tools. They are

  • USB Pratirodh: It is a desktop security solution to protect from USB mass storage device threats.
  • AppSamvid: It is a desktop solution to protect systems by allowing installation of genuine applications through white listing. It helps in preventing threats from malicious applications.
  • M-Kavach: It is an indigenously developed mobile application to address the security threats in mobiles.

About Cyber Swachhta Kendra

  • The centre mission is to create a secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections in India and to notify, enable cleaning and securing systems of end users so as to prevent further infections.
  • It is being operated by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under provisions of Section 70B of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
  • The centre complies with the objectives of the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 which aims at creating a secure cyber eco-system in the country.
  • It operates in close coordination and collaboration with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), academia, banks and Product and Antivirus companies.

Botnet: It is a network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge. Such infected computer is referred to as a zombie. It is used to steal data, send spam. Botnet is a combination of the words robot and network.The popular attacks that happen these days using botnets are called the Distributed Detail of Service (DDOS) attacks.

Malware: It is malicious software which is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain authorized access to a computer system. It is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive malicious softwares including computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, ransomware, adware, scareware etc.

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Banks to bear liability in case of online security breach: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that banks will have to bear the full liability in the event of any security breach or compromise in the authorised card network.

Banks issuing the cards will offer the ‘payment authentication solutions’ of the respective card networks on an optional basis to their customers.

RBI held that

  • Only authorised card networks will offer such payment authentication solutions with participation of card issuing and acquiring banks.
  • For this purpose customer’s consent must be taken while making this solution available to them.
  • Customers opting for this facility will go through a one-time registration process. They are required to enter card details and additional factor authentication by issuing bank.
  • Thereafter, registered customers will not be required to re-enter card details for every transaction at merchant locations that offer this solution, thus save time and effort.
  • The card details already registered will be the first factor while the credentials used to login to the solution would be the additional factor of authentication.

Besides, RBI also has relaxed additional factor authentication (AFA) norms for online transactions up to Rs. 2,000. This decision was taken in a move to save time for customers amid the government’s push for digitization of payments.

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