Cyber-Attacks Current Affairs - 2019
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on 2 May 2019 signed into law a “sovereign internet” bill which will allow Russian authorities to isolate the country’s internet. The move expands Government Control of Internet, is being publicly denounced by all rights groups in country.
- The text of the law was published on 1 May 2019 but it will not come into effect until November.
- Russian lawmakers support the new law as deeming it necessary to ensure security of Russia’s online networks.
- It includes measures such as to create technology to monitor internet routing, to steer Russian internet traffic away from foreign servers, allegedly to prevent a foreign country from shutting it down.
- In March 2019, Putin signed another controversial law which allowed courts to fine and briefly jail people who showed disrespect towards authorities, and also block media for publishing “fake news”.
- These laws are part of an ongoing Kremlin clampdown on media and internet freedoms in which people are jailed even for sharing humorous memes.
- The move would also target largely Telegram (a popular messaging app) widely used by Russians.
- It is being criticized as a vaguely worded bill which gives new censorship powers to government monitors and is aimed at restricting information and communication online.
- It will allow greater surveillance by Russian intelligence agencies, and increase ability of state authorities to control information.
The government defended the legislation as a defensive move in case the United States would cut Russia off from the global Internet. Also, Russia must ensure its networks security after US President Donald Trump unveiled a new American cybersecurity strategy in 2018 which accused Russia of carrying out cyber-attacks with impunity.
According to recent report by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), maximum number of cyber-attacks on official Indian websites are from China, US and Russia. The report was forwarded to National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and other security agencies. It had analysed cyber-attacks from April-June 2018.
Key Highlights of report
China continues to intrude Indian cyberspace in significant way as cyber-attacks originating from China account for largest 35% of total number of cyber-attacks on official Indian websites followed by US (17%), Russia (15%), Pakistan (9%), Canada (7%) and Germany (5%).
Indian institutions attacked by these malicious activities on cyberspace include Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), National Informatics Centre (NIC), Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Railways, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) and some banks like Punjab National Bank (PNB), Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), State Bank of India (SBI) and state data centres, particularly in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. CERT-In has advised to take appropriate preventive action.
Pakistan malicious actors from Pakistan are possibly using German and Canadian cyberspace for intruding into Indian cyberspace and carrying out malicious activities. They are targeting by sending spear phishing emails with malware attachments. Phishing attacks are usually in form of email from trusted source where they ask for personal details such as bank details personal details, passwords.
Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)
CERT-In is nodal agency for information technology (cyber) security under aegis of Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Electronics and IT. It was established in 2004. Its mandate is to protect Indian cyberspace and software infrastructure against destructive and hacking activities. It also responds to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout country. It also issue guidelines, vulnerability notes, advisories and whitepapers regarding to information security practices, prevention.