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Cells to counter cyber attacks on government sites
The National Security Council plans to set up a cyber command authority to tackle cyber attacks on government’s defence, port, airport, pipelines, nuclear installation, water and electricity computer systems and networks.

The National Security Council (NSC) is toying with a proposal to set up a cyber command authority (CCA) after concerns were expressed about repeated cyber attacks on government websites, and reports about efforts to break into the country’s sensitive network by what is known as the Sino-Pak Cyber Army.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh summoned a meeting of the NSC last week to discuss the growing cyber threat and asked an action plan to be drawn on a war-footing basis before such an authority was set up. What has caused panic in the Indian security system is a confidential report sent by the USA’s National Security Agency that more than 100 foreign intelligence organisations are trying to break into the country’s cyber networks and some of them have even acquired the capacity to disrupt its information infrastructure.

The US has warned “there is no such thing as secure anymore in the cyber world” and it’s working on the assumption that foes may have pierced even the most sensitive national security computer networks. The note was sent after the fresh WikiLeaks cables.

“We have to build our systems on the assumption that adversaries will get in,” the US’s code-making and code-cracking agency has said.

The plan to set up CCA has been deferred till a thorough review of the threat is done. The prime minister has asked the NSC to work with an approach that there was no such thing as a “static state of security”.
Manmohan reviewed the present level of preparedness to deal with cyber security issues, such as identification of critical information infrastructure, delineation of responsibilities, dissemination of early warning and incidence response.

CCA will work on tackling new generation attacks on the government’s defence, port, airport, pipelines, nuclear installations, water and electricity computer systems and networks.

The prime minister has already ordered to put in place a cyber crisis management plan. The standard operating procedures had already been upgraded last year even before the Wiki cables, when Iranian nuclear facilities in Natanz in Iran were reportedly hit by a computer worm Stunxnet.

The Russians described it as a working and fearsome prototype of a cyber-weapon that will lead to the creation of a new arms race in the world.

Source: Daily News and Analysis