[ISN] Beware of the bugs

http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/india-cyber-security-at-risk/1/191786.html By Manu Kaushik and Pierre Mario Fitter Business Today Feb 17, 2013 In early July last year, a staffer at the secretive National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) noticed odd “signals” on his monitoring system. Using complex algorithms that NTRO had been developing since 2010, he categorised these signals as a precursor to a major cyber attack. The agency, run under the Prime Minister’s Office, immediately sent a warning up the chain of command. Inexplicably, the warning went unheeded. That mistake would result in the single-largest cyber attack ever carried out against India. On July 12, several high-level officials reported their emails had been hacked into. This included officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the paramilitary unit deployed along much of the country’s 3,500 km border with China. The hackers even breached the main National Informatics Centre email server, which serves all government departments. An investigation put the total number of hacked accounts at roughly 12,000. The scale of the breach may suggest that the hackers were trying to steal any information they could lay their hands on, but NTRO officials believe otherwise. “Ministries like Panchayati Raj, Women and Child Development, and Statistics were not touched. The hackers focused on the ones with secrets,” says a senior NTRO officer on condition of anonymity. “They stole secret information such as deployment locations of troops and communication between ITBP (commanders) and home ministry officials.” Officials say while any number of countries could be after secrets from the foreign and home ministries and DRDO, only one would be interested in ITBP – China, with which India has a long-running boundary dispute that even led to a brief, but bloody, war in 1962. […] ______________________________________________ Visit the InfoSec News Security Bookstore Best Selling Security Books and More! http://www.shopinfosecnews.org