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India among nations most prone to cyberattacks

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Washington: A new report ranking various nation’s vulnerability to cyberattacks placed India among the countries most vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Data-mining experts from the University of Maryland and Virginia Tech recently co-authored a book that ranked the vulnerability of 44 nations to cyber attacks.

Lead author V S Subrahmanian discussed this research on Wednesday, March 9 at a panel discussion hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, DC.

The United States ranked 11th safest while several Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Finland) ranked the safest. China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea ranked among the most vulnerable.

Subrahmanian noted that the goal was to characterize how vulnerable different countries were, identify their current cybersecurity policies and determine how those policies might need to change in response to this new information.

The book’s authors conducted a two-year study that analyzed more than 20 billion automatically generated reports, collected from 4 million machines per year worldwide. The researchers based their rankings, in part, on the number of machines attacked in a given country and the number of times each machine was attacked.

Machines using Symantec anti-virus software automatically generated these reports, but only when a machine’s user opted in to provide the data.

Trojans, followed by viruses and worms, posed the principal threats to machines in the United States. However, misleading software (i.e., fake anti-virus programs and disk cleanup utilities) is far more prevalent in the US compared with other nations that have a similar gross domestic product. These results suggest that US efforts to reduce cyber threats should focus on education to recognize and avoid misleading software.

In a foreword to the book, Isaac Ben-Israel, chair of the Israeli Space Agency and former head of that nation’s National Cyber Bureau, wrote “People, even experts, often have gross misconceptions about the relative vulnerability [to cyber attack] of certain countries. The authors of this book succeed in empirically refuting many of those wrong beliefs.”

The book’s findings include economic and educational data gathered by UMD’s Center for Digital International Government, for which Subrahmanian serves as director.

The researchers integrated all of the data to help shape specific policy recommendations for each of the countries studied, including strategic investments in education, research and public-private partnerships. (IANS)

  • Shriya Katoch

    This is truly terrifying . Its high time that india starts building its cyber security.

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The Launch Countdown For DRDO’s Satellite To Start Soon

The Kalamsat is a 10cm cube nano-satellite weighing about 1.2kg. The satellite's life span is about two months and its cost is about Rs 12 lakh

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Nirbhay
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the Nirbhay missile test was "successful".(Representative image) VOA

The countdown for the flight Thursday night of an Indian rocket carrying the Microsat R imaging satellite of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Kalamsat student satellite will begin later on Wednesday, an Indian space agency official said.

“The countdown for the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket launch will start today (Wednesday).

“The countdown duration and its starting time, the time of rocket launch would be announced later,” an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS.

The rocket launch was expected to happen at about 11.40 p.m. on Thursday.

“We will be launching the 700-kg Microsat R and Kalamsat with a new PSLV variant.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid bennu
Satellite To Conduct Biological Experiments In Space, Plans Space Kidz India, VOA

“To reduce weight and increase the mass, an aluminium tank is being used for the first time in the fourth stage,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had told IANS earlier.

He said Kalamsat is a payload developed by students and Chennai-based Space Kidz India.

The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.

In its normal configuration, the rocket would have six strap-on motors hugging the its first stage. However, the PSLV that would be flying on January 24 with Microsat R and Kalamsat will be a two strap-on motors configuration and is designated as PSLV-DL.

The rocket PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant.

PSLV
Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifts off with two British satellites NovaSAR and S1-4, as seen from Chennai. IANS

About 14 minutes into the flight the rocket would eject Microsat R at an altitude of about 277km. This would start functioning at an altitude of 450km in about the 103th minute after lift-off.

The Kalamsat would be the first to use the rocket’s fourth stage as an orbital platform. The fourth stage would be moved to higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments, ISRO had said.

Also Read: DRDO Develops Ayurvedic Medicine For Vitiligo

“The Kalamsat is a 10cm cube nano-satellite weighing about 1.2kg. The satellite’s life span is about two months and its cost is about Rs 12 lakh,” Srimathy Kesan, Founder-CEO of Space Kidz India, told IANS.

Space Kidz India is working towards promoting art, science and culture for students in India.

According to Kesan, Kalamsat will be the first satellite of Space Kidz India to be in a proper orbit as its earlier satellites were suborbital ones. (IANS)