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Future wars might be cyber wars, says Parrikar

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New Delhi: Stressing on the need for enhanced cyber security, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday that the Indian Army must be vigilant against information manipulations by militant outfits like ISIS.

Apprehending that cyberspace will be the next war zone, Parrikar underscored the need for acquiring enhanced competencies to thwart attacks from terrorist outfits.

Parrikar mentioned that ISIS was using the social media platforms extensively to spread their ideology, and said, a counter-strategy must be formulated to curb the virulent attack.

“The world that we as a nation will be interacting with is increasingly fraught with turbulence and will call for dominant military might. We need to develop technology and system appropriate to evolving military doctrine,” Parrikar said addressing the DEFCOM seminar here organised by the Corps of Signal of the Indian Army and the CII.

He, however, stated that conventional defence forces could never be substituted and the process of honing them will continue to combat growing threats.

Speaking about the need for proper use of the developing internet technology, Parrikar said, “One can take the example of terrorist organisations like Daish or ISIS. They use the Internet to ensure a lot of recruitment or support, and they are one of the best users of Internet technology for promoting their cause.”

Warning of a possible information blackout triggered by ultra-bodies, Parrikar said, developing internet technology has become of utmost important in the backdrop of rapid global development in the cyberspace.

Handling of information via internet could be both sensitive and tricky, as there was always the threat of data overload, said Parrikar, adding, finding vital information might become like searching a needle in a stack of hay.

Digitalisation of the forces would equip them to foil cyber-attacks by the adversaries, Parrikar added.

The defence minister expressed firm belief that India will become a dominant force in the cyber world in recent times.

(With inputs from agencies)

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‘Digital drive brings India closer to cyber attack risk’

"Countries like India are developing very fast which opens doors for more cyber attacks," MD of Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific added.

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  • India remains one of the prey of hackers
  • One of the recent attacks included WannaCrypt
  • The most vulnerable targets are the financial institutions

Rajnish Singh

Singapore, July 16: India’s growing economy and digital push have caught the attention of hackers and an increasing wave of cyber attacks could soon badly impact the country, experts from Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab have warned.

India and other South Asian countries are now on the radar of cyber attackers, said experts, adding that the government and corporates need to procure state-of-the-art, New Age security solutions to thwart their plans.

The impact of recent global cyber attacks were clearly visible in India as “WannaCrypt” — that affected 150 countries globally — and the recent “Petya” malware attack hit computers in the country.

“India’s growing economy and digitalisation are really a big concern as cyber attackers have now begun focusing on developing countries with big populations and average incomes,” Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and Chief Executive of Kaspersky Lab, told IANS on the sidelines of the recently-concluded “Interpol World 2017” conference in Singapore’s Suntec City.

His comments came as the Moscow-based cyber security firm found that the “Petya” attack hit Gateway Terminal India operated by AP Moller-Maersk at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), a facility near Mumbai which is India’s biggest container port.

Cyber attacks
There are considerable hike in malware attacks due to rampant digitization

The terminal was unable to load or unload because of the attack as it failed to identify which shipment belongs to whom.

According to Vitaly Kamluk, Director of Global Research and Analysis Team for APAC at Kaspersky Labs, there was no cyber security threat till 2010 and India was quite safe till then.

But now, India and other “developing countries are most vulnerable, especially the financial sector. We perceive that banks are most vulnerable in India”, Kamluk told IANS.

Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific, stressed the need to educate people to save them from becoming victims of cyber attacks.

“As India’s economy is growing fast, more and more people are now getting access to Internet. They have 4G access and Android devices are becoming popular. They need to be educated about anti-virus solutions as mandatory for devices and be made aware about not falling for phishing attacks,” Neumeier emphasised.

He suggested that malicious emails or links should also be part of the awareness process.

“Countries like India are developing very fast which opens doors for more cyber attacks,” Neumeier added.

The experts also recalled how over 200,000 users were affected in 150 countries after the “WannaCrypt” virus attack which paralysed computers — with a demand being made for a payment of $300 in bitcoins (crypto-currency or virtual currency) for a system to be unblocked.

Citing reports, Kaspersky Lab said that cyber crime costs the world $450 billion per year, which is almost the annual budget of Russia, China and Japan.

The experts said the hackers target government ministries, banks, utilities, other key infrastructure and companies nationwide, demanding ransom in crypto-currency.

Giving the example of Bangladesh, the experts said the hackers recently made a bank heist in the country and made away with $1 billion in one attack, since the security was vulnerable.

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Why you must uninstall these Chinese apps right away including True Caller, UC Browser

Government alarmed against use of 42 Chinese apps working as spyware, Check out and be digitally secure

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Chinese apps to uninstall
Govt issued warning against Chinese apps as spyware (Representational Image : Pexels)
  • The Government Has Named 42 mobile Chinese Apps as “Chinese Spyware”, Including Big Names Like TrueCaller, UC Browser

    The Indian government on recommendation of intelligence agencies has announced a list of mobile apps on both android and iOs which are reported as Chinese spyware. In big war of data, cyber security is a big concern these days. These Chinese apps have the potential to carry out cyber attack against India.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has warned Indian government that China could be collecting vital information about the Indian security installations through its popular mobile phone apps and devices which are widely used. Cyber breach in security is very common in this digital age we are living.

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Army and defence personnel have been asked to immediately uninstall the 42 mobile apps as well as format their smartphones. This is not the first time that the government has issued warnings against Chinese apps. Some of these Chinese apps are – Weibo, WeChat, ShareIT, True Caller, UC News, UC Browser, Beauty Plus, 360 Security, DU Cleaner, DU Battery Saver, We Sync, QQ Launcher, ES File Explorer, You Cam Makeup, SelfieCity, MI Community, Vault Hide – NQ Mobile Security, Baidu Translate and many more.

TrueCaller mobile app has replied to the issue. It said: “In response to certain reports, we would like to clarify that we are a Sweden based company. We are not sure why the app is on this list, but we’re investigating. Truecaller is not a malware, and all our features are permission based and are disabled by default.”

There is a huge possibility of these Chinese apps transmitting sensitive personal data of Indian citizens to the Chinese authorities, which could be a major security disaster, the advisory states. Defence personnels are also advised not to use Chinese manufactured phones like Xiomi.

Thus, being aware citizens we must be resilient towards cyber attacks and keep uninstalling such malicious Chinese apps. Your data is your personal information, you must be vigilant towards its theft. Stay aware, Stay alert.

– by Shaurya Ritwik, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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Global Education Services of Manipal University to offer master’s degree in Cyber Security and Data Sciences

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Cyber security, VOA

Bengaluru, April 13, 2017: Global Education Services of Manipal University would offer post-graduation course (Master’s degree) in cyber security and data sciences from the academic year 2017-2018 at its centre of excellence here, said an official on Wednesday.

The varsity has tied up with Deakin University of Australia to offer the post-graduation courses and short and long-term training programmes in the specialised subjects.

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“The tie-up with Deakin ushers an era of education partnership and a strong university relationship,” said Manipal University Vice-Chancellor H. Vinod Bhat on the occasion.

The joint agreement was signed by Manipal Group Vice-President A.P. Ramabhadran and Deakin Vice-Chancellor Jane den Hollander here.

The Group’s Data Science and Cyber Security Centre of Excellence will be set up soon in the Electronics City on the southern outskirts of this tech hub.

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The agreement envisages solving sector specific big data problems, developing knowledge and practices in complex problems and bringing methodological consistency relevant to the Indian context.

“The centre will work with solutions of the pattern recognition and data analytics centre at Deakin to solve analytics challenges faced in healthcare, IT and banking financial services and insurance (BFSI) sectors,” said Ramabhadran in a statement.

The centre will also investigate and address problems in key technology areas in the Indian ecosystem spanning health, insurance, banking, security and education.

“The courses are designed to get hands-on experience in sectors like BFSI, IT and manufacturing which are prone to threats,” added Hollander. (IANS)