India has been the target of cyberwarfare attacks in recent times allegedly by China.This is quite strange since India is known to be a software powerhouse home to world class companies like Infosys,TCS and Wipro.The reason is that the Indian government had not leveraged its huge army of software professionals in order to beef up its cyber security.But this is about to change with the highest security echelons of the Indian administration deciding to set up both offensive and defensive cyberwarfare capabilities.Note India faces hostile neighbours in the form of Pakistan and China whom with it has already fought a combined 4 wars since 1947.Acquiring digital warfare abilities is crucial in this age when communication and IT infrastructure is essential for fighting modern wars.Disabling an enemy’s information and communication network can provide prove the difference between victory and defeat.
Most countries already possess cyberwarfare capabilities
Note other countries like USA and China have already well developed cyber warfare capabilities with China frequently in the news over cyber-attacks on various countries like South Korea.USA’s NSA possesses formidable strengths in this area using American information technology which is the best in the world.USA has denied the export of critical encryption technology in order to safeguard its lead in the cyber security area.India is taking a leaf from these countries albeit in a late manner.India’s plan will involve recruiting hackers and software professionals under the aegis of its intelligence agencies.A new law also will be passed to prevent exiting Indian laws from prosecuting these recruits.
The strategy of taking the fight to hackers was drafted at a high-level security meet on July 29 chaired by National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon. The meeting was attended by the director of Intelligence Bureau as well as senior officials of the telecom department, IT ministry and security agencies, documents seen by ET show.According to the government proposal, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) along with Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) will be responsible for creating cyber-offensive capabilities. NTRO is a key government agency that gathers technical intelligence while DIA is tasked with collating inputs from the Navy, Army and Air Force.
The NTRO will also suggest measures to ensure legal protection to recruits, a move that is expected to coax software professionals into joining the government group because under the Indian IT Act, hacking is punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or carries a fine up to `2 lakh, or both.