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McAfee Official Says, India Needs A More Secured Cybersecurity Ecosystem

India now has the National Cyber Coordination Centre

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Microsoft Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity, Pixabay

Although India has become more active when it comes to cybersecurity, the country needs to put all the pieces together to protect businesses via a foolproof ecosystem, a top executive from cybersecurity firm McAfee has stressed.

“India is interacting a lot with neighbours, coordinating with them via strategic MoUs on cybersecurity but there are few things that need to be patched to be able to respond faster and better to cyber attacks,” Ian Yip, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific at McAfee, told IANS.

In a recent report released by the Australian Security Policy Institute, India ranked 10th on cyber security globally.

“The 10th rank globally is not that bad and there is room for improvement. India is in a good place to make those improvements by collaborating with all the stakeholders including cyber security firms,” Yip added.

India now has the National Cyber Coordination Centre, apart from a general computer emergency response team (CERT) and a separate CERT to protect the Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI) sector.

According to Yip, there is now a full-fledged secondary market with cybercrime-as-a-service, helping cybercriminals leverage capabilities from fellow attackers and use advanced malware techniques to target enterprises.

Logo of McAfee
Logo of McAfee, flickr

“Cyber attackers have the capability to use some of the more advanced techniques. There is a secondary market with cybercrime-as-a-service, where they can leverage the capability of other criminals into the attack mechanisms,” Yip noted.

Apart from rising ransomware attacks, cryptojacking is now a big threat to companies.

Cryptocurrency mining is rising, said the executive, owing to the increase in the cryptocurrency value.

“Cryptojacking is more harmful for businesses and individuals than ransomware because it increases the cost of ransom,” Yip added.

The fourth quarter of 2017 saw a spike in the Bitcoin value, driving cybercriminals to focus on cryptocurrency hijacking through a variety of methods and was defined by rapid cybercriminal adoption of newer tools and schemes, a new McAfee report said recently.

According to Yip, the next big wave of innovation in cybersecurity solution is Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions.

Cyber security
Cyber security, Pixabay

Also read: Google won’t develop deadly AI weapons but help military

“There is urgent need to automate, orchestrate and integrate as much of security infrastructure as possible amid skill shortage. Cyber attackers are now also trying to leverage the potential of New-Age technologies,” he noted. (IANS)

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This AI System Can Evade Censorship In India, China and Kazakhstan

Researchers develop an AI tool that evades censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan

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(AI)-based system automatically learns to evade censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan. Pixabay

Researchers have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system that automatically learns to evade censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan.

The tool, called Geneva (short for Genetic Evasion), found dozens of ways to circumvent censorship by exploiting gaps in censors’ logic and finding bugs that the researchers said would have been virtually impossible for humans to find manually.

The researchers are scheduled to introduce Geneva during a peer-reviewed talk at the Association for Computing Machinery’s 26th Conference on Computer and Communications Security in London on Thursday.

“With Geneva, we are, for the first time, at a major advantage in the censorship arms race,” said Dave Levin, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland in the US and senior author of the paper.

“Geneva represents the first step toward a whole new arms race in which artificial intelligence systems of censors and evaders compete with one another. Ultimately, winning this race means bringing free speech and open communication to millions of users around the world who currently don’t have them,” Levin said.\

censorship, AI
This AI system that evades censorship is called ‘Geneva’. Pixabay

To demonstrate that Geneva worked in the real world against undiscovered censorship strategies, the team ran Geneva on a computer in China with an unmodified Google Chrome browser installed.

By deploying strategies identified by Geneva, the user was able to browse free of keyword censorship.

The researchers also successfully evaded censorship in India, which blocks forbidden URLs, and Kazakhstan, which was eavesdropping on certain social media sites at the time, said a statement from the University of Maryland.

All information on the Internet is broken into data packets by the sender’s computer and reassembled by the receiving computer.

One prevalent form of Internet censorship works by monitoring the data packets sent during an Internet search.

The censor blocks requests that either contain flagged keywords (such as “Tiananmen Square” in China) or prohibited domain names (such as “Wikipedia” in many countries).

When Geneva is running on a computer that is sending out web requests through a censor, it modifies how data is broken up and sent, so that the censor does not recognise forbidden content or is unable to censor the connection.

Known as a genetic algorithm, Geneva is a biologically inspired type of AI that Levin and his team developed to work in the background as a user browses the web from a standard Internet browser.

Like biological systems, Geneva forms sets of instructions from genetic building blocks. But rather than using DNA as building blocks, Geneva uses small pieces of code.

Censorship
By deploying strategies identified by Geneva, the user is able to browse free of keyword censorship. Pixabay

Individually, the bits of code do very little, but when composed into instructions, they can perform sophisticated evasion strategies for breaking up, arranging or sending data packets.

The tool evolves its genetic code through successive attempts (or generations). With each generation, Geneva keeps the instructions that work best at evading censorship and kicks out the rest.

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Geneva mutates and cross breeds its strategies by randomly removing instructions, adding new instructions, or combining successful instructions and testing the strategy again.

Through this evolutionary process, Geneva is able to identify multiple evasion strategies very quickly, said the study. (IANS)