“Hafiz Saeed will have to teach his idiotic army how to use a computer – Rahul Sasi”
India’s one of the most wanted terrorists who is also a mastermind behind 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Jama’at-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed has now created a 24×7 cyber cell to launch continuous attacks on India. He reportedly attended a two-day conference on terror on December 26 and 27 in Lahore, where cyber war against India was discussed. It was called as the social media conference and on the poster was written – Cyber Team, JuD. Saeed’s son was also said to be present in the conference to make new virtual strategies to attack India’s cyber space. Ninety per cent of India’s infrastructure is online such as Gas, electricity, finance and banking etc. Saeed’s attacks may affect the cyber space of India for which the government needs to be on alert for defence its online installations.
India is becoming the fastest “strategic target” for cyber-criminals with an estimated 38 per cent of organisations exposed to targeted attacks in the first half of 2015, a report said.
Security solutions firm FireEye’s ‘1H 2015 Regional Advanced Threat Report for Asia Pacific’ found that 38 per cent of organisations in India were exposed to targeted advanced persistent attacks in the first half of the year, a 23 per cent increase from the previous year.
“India is fast becoming a strategic target, in part because of the potentially sensitive information that is expected to be digitised through ambitious and high-profile projects such as Digital India,” it said.
The number of cyber-attacks in the country stood at nearly 50,000 during the first five months of 2015, with most of these attacks on computer networks of Indian organisations originating from countries such as the U.S, Pakistan, China and Bangladesh.
Afternoon Voice, spoke to renounced hackers and techies to seek their opinion over the threat to India’s cyber space:
When asked Manu Zacharia, a cyber-security expert, about the damages these attacks may cause to India, he said “It’s all depends on how we prepare ourselves to defence us from them”.
He further stated, “I’m not surprised by this. Terrorist organizations already have cyber and Hi-tech units, with state of the art infrastructure. This is another wake-up call for the Law Enforcement agencies and also time for cross border agencies to collaborate and synchronize.”
Whereas another techie Shritam Bhowmick, an Application Security Specialist at Defencely declines the feasibility of 24×7 attacks by them and said, “Most prominently a cyber-cell can’t compromise the network but might cause a downtime. Technically, these 24 hours cell is nothing but a piece of software which leave data packets and flood the network. The downtime can be prevented by firewalls if configured properly.”
“This is a serious matter, and has also become a global theme too. Terrorist groups are investing in organised criminal groups and sophisticated nation-state hackers to disrupt the target nation’s critical infrastructure. A successful attack on a critical infrastructure cannot only impact a nation’s productivity or economy, but could potentially impact human life as well. This is a strategic national security issue and should be dealt vigilantly,” said Beenu Arora, of PwC Australia and Prince Water House Coopers.
Rahul Sasi, Chief Technology Officer at CloudSek, gave a rather sarcastic response on Hafiz Saeed’s Cyber Cell, he said “First Saeed should teach his Idiotic Army how to use a computer, and then teach them how to program and then have to learn the basics of security, and after that something about hacking. So probably by 2025 Saeed’s Army might be able to write HTML code and by that time Indian’s would be eating foods cultivated on Mars”.
“Attackers are compromising with computer systems in different parts of the world and use masquerading techniques and hidden servers to hide the identity of the systems from which the attacks are launched,” said Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“In such cases, CERT-In notifies the organisation concerned regarding the cyber-attacks and requests for logs of network devices, servers and other related components for analysing the attacks and identifying sources of attack,” he added.
Ajit Hatti, Co-Founder of Null Community said, “There are two dimensions in this case, one is political and second is technical. On Political Front this shows the existence of factions’ within the Pakistani Elite which wants to engage India in a war like situation. With the new diplomacy transpiring between the two nations, such factions will be losing their importance and support. So, this is a desperate attempt by Hafiz Saeed to engage India in a cyber front where he can’t execute his ill will for India in physical world as he did in 2008. This proves the effectiveness of our diplomatic moves.
He further added that, “Looking at the technical front, internet gives any one ability or power to engage an organisation, carry out espionage, and get to critical infrastructure and at a minimum defame the organisation or at maximum cause serious harm to critical establishments. This is very serious matter. We are aware of Continuous Attempts of Cyber Espionage by both the countries against each other. However, this is very first time that someone is very vocal and went all out with his ill intentions against India. He has strong motivation and will also have state backing which makes the threat more serious if not manifold. The need of cyber security is well acknowledged by Government and various bodies like CERT-IN, CIIPC, and SmartGrid are operational. Now, they have to shrug off their complacence and wear the Armour.”
Adding to this Gagan Jattana, Network Security Engineer at Defencely vouched for the need to strengthen our Cyberspace. “We are vulnerable in the military and in our governments, but depend on their target by defacing D Grade sites they can’t prove a hack. Still, we need to secure our cyberspace rather than attacking back.”
“Recently, I read that Saeed attended a conference in Lahore where cyber security was discussed and how cleverly and immediately he managed to setup such thing which is indeed shame for us and our Government (Intelligence Agencies)”, said Nilesh Nimone of e-Procurement Technologies Ltd and Cry Foundation.
“With this ‘so called’ Cyber-cell, obviously they will communicate in better way that when and where to attack. If this is really intended to hack something, it wouldn’t be an easy task for them unless and until geeks from our country support them. Young hackers from Pakistan are attracted towards this space, which is a bad sign for the Pakistani government as well as for Indian government. Lastly, it will not be easy for Saeed to implement this, if it is really intended to hack, added Nimone.