Cybersecurity Current Affairs

New ASEAN Cyber Drill Kicks Off in Vietnam

The ASEAN Computer Emergency Response Team Incident Drill (ACID) was recently held in Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. This year it was 12th year of drills as part of subregion’s response to growing cyber challenges witnessed in recent years.

ACID’s objective is to test and enhance incident response as well as broader cooperation and coordination among ASEAN CERTS as well as some of their key dialogue partners. It involves ten members of ASEAN as well as five dialogue partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea.

Key Facts

The purpose of drill was to manage challenges in cyber realm focused on areas like incident response, confidence-building, and cyber capacity-building. These realms ranged from cybersecurity working group within ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus to new ASEAN Cyber Capacity Program introduced in 2016 by Singapore.

The focus of this iteration was on dangers of insufficient authentication and poor access. It also focused on reinforcing coordination among actors as well as boosting skills in areas such as investigating incidents and analyzing malicious codes. In 2016, ACID had focused on several areas including Ransomware and cyber forensics, in line with ongoing efforts to ensure that CERTS are up to date with current challenges in cyber realm.

ASEAN

ASEAN is a regional organisation that aims to promote intergovernmental cooperation and economic integration amongst its members. It consists of 10-member countries- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It came into existence on August 8, 1967, after ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok Declaration). It

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CERT-In issues alert on Locky Ransomware

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has issued an alert about spread of new ransomware (malicious software) ‘Locky’ that can lock computers and demand ransom for unlocking them.

Ransomware is basically type of malicious software designed to block access to computer system until sum of money is paid.

Locky Ransomware

Locky ransomware is being circulated through massive spam campaign in which spam emails with common subject lines target computers by locking them and demanding ransom for restoring access to users. It first had surfaced in 2016.

It encrypts files on victims’ PCs and adds a .locky file extension. The attackers then demand ransom in Bitcoin payment to unlock the files. It is demanding ransom of half bitcoin, which at present rate is equivalent to over Rs 1.5 lakh. So far, it has extorted more than $7.8 million in payments, according to a recent study. However, its impact on Indian systems is not clear so far.

Comment

The Locky Ransomware cyberattack is third major ransomware attack this year after Wannacry and Petya which had crippled thousands of computers, including those of multinational corporations. According to an Assocham PWC study, India was third worst affected country in list of over 100 countries hit by Wannacry in May 2017.

CERT-In

CERT-In is nodal agency for information technology 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,

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