By Baidurya Sen:
An often heard news relating to the cyber world is hacking. We often hear and read that government or private sites have been hacked. Though our common perception is that the hackers work upon stealing private data and looting money, there is more to it than meets the eye. Few months ago, a group of Bangladeshi hackers claimed that they had hacked over 2000 Indian websites. They call themselves ‘Black Hat Hackers’. And unlike surreptitious ways of hacking websites without the victims being sure of who is the perpetrator, they announced their identity with pride. They also claimed that it was in direct retaliation to brutal treatment of a Bangladeshi civilian by the Border Security Force. Though sources says that their claim is much inflated, but also agree that some of the government websites were indeed affected, albeit temporarily. And to avenge this deliberate harm, even the Indian cyber-army is also ready to take similar action against the Bangladeshi government sites.
It is not new news that Indian websites are being under constant attack from cyber notoriety. According to Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, around 90,119,369 websites have been hacked including 117 government websites from the year 2008 to mid-2011. The figures are truly staggering. A significant number of these websites have been hacked by China based hackers. A Tokyo based IT security firm has revealed that Chinese hackers have not only targeted Indian government websites and the websites of Tibetian activism, but also a number of Indian industries like military research, aerospace, shipping, etc. As for the Chinese hackers, we do not even know for sure their purpose. Are they trying to bully India’s cyber world by displaying their might? Or are they sneaking in to take away sensitive information of national importance. The prospects and the consequences of such an act could be alarming. In the movie Die Hard 4.0, we see how the villain Thomas Gabriel holds an entire country hostage by threatening to take control from the air force pilot “go-codes” (that’s the code for launching missiles) to the state’s economy by seizing control of the banks digitally.
It is thus imperative that India reinforces its security in all government sectors, be it the military or the banking world. It is well known that government sector moves at a slower pace than private sector, but in matters of national importance, security ought not to be compromised. And as for the excuses given by the Bangladeshis without even giving it a thought as to why their fellow citizen was accosted, it is better to have diplomatic solutions rather than having each other’s websites hacked as an act of vengeance. It is time that cyber armies of both sides stop their ‘retaliation game’ as it not only harms government properties but also a simple citizen’s money. There must be more maturity and understanding among the hacking communities. Indian government, in any case should also be prepared to safeguard and protect India’s cyber world. As the International Telecommunication Union (under UN) Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun Toure predicted, that the next world war can take place very much in the digital realm. So we better have our digital ammunitions ready!