Cert-In Rises to the Swine Flu Challenge

by Muntazir Abbas    May 08, 2009

As the Swine Flu spreads, the rise in phishing messages with malicious attachments that fraudulently claim information on influenza are worrying CXOs and IT managers alike.

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert-In) under the Department of Information Technology will offer educational programs for CTOs and CIOs, and has been approached by IT organisations.

According to an F-Secure report, more than 250 Web sites with similar malicious codes have already been created in Cyberspace within the first few days of the outbreak. Most organizations do not provide a hands-on educational programme to its CXOs only adds to the irony.

Cert In has already issued the advisory for these malicious e-mails with PDF attachments. The referral agency will also impart training for IT heads and information infrastructure managers on risk assessment and resilient operational response.

Phishing sites are being largely created outside the country. We are working in tandem with international programmes to avert such attacks, said Gulshan Rai, director-general of Cert-In. According to him- IT infrastructure needs to be updated, as sometimes due to lack of security patches, it poses a great challenge within the organization. We will also organize workshops with government to dissimilate information and create awareness.

CERT-in also encouraging users to report vulnerabilities and get advisory online. To counter phishing, we need coordination between countries. However, there are encrypted codes and high level algorithms with AES 256-bits, he said. We need to look at end-to-end solution, and CERT-in is also working on MoU with IT vendors.

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