US Current Affairs

35% of cyber-attacks on Indian sites from China: CERT-In report

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.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018

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US announces creation of Iran Action Group to pressurise Iran

United States (US) State Department has announced creation of Iran Action Group (IAG) to execute President Donald Trump administration’s Iran strategy and pressure country to change its behaviors.  Its creation comes in wake of US withdrawal (unilaterally) from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known nuclear deal) signed between Iran and P5+1 countries (P5: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and +1: Germany,) and European Union in Vienna (Austria) in July 2015.

Iran Action Group (IAG)

IAG will be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of State Department’s Iran-related activity, and it will report directly to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It will ensure that Department of State remains closely synchronized with interagency partners and lead US diplomatic efforts to galvanize international support for our efforts. Veteran diplomat Brian Hook (current director of Policy Planning in State Department) was appointed head of IAG and will lead it with formal title of Special Representative for Iran.

Background

US had unilaterally withdrawn from historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal, citing it unfair and it cannot prevent Iran nuclear bomb and is defective at its core as it does not target Iran’s ballistic missile programme, its nuclear activities beyond year 2025, and its subversive political and military involvement in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq. It also simultaneously announced to re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under nuclear deal to squeeze Iran’s economy and, consequently, its regime in order to change its policies. Following pullout from JCPOA, US had rolled out new strategy on Iran, outlining 12-point requirements for Iran to change its behaviors. In August 2018, uS re-imposed sanctions on Iran on non-energy areas and notified that it will slap remaining sanctions in November 2018 that concentrate on Iran’s key economic areas such as energy, shipping and ports.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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