India's innovative approach to combat botnet menace
The Indian government has announced the setting up a botnet-cleaning centre in the country to combat the growing menace of botnets. India has already been identified as the as one of the top ten sources of botnets in the world affecting hundreds of PCs and mobile devices and are affecting the growth and productivity of businesses. The government has made an investment of approximately Rs 80 Crore in the Center that is likely to be operational by June 2014.
According to J Satyanarayana, Secretary in the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, the proposed botnet center will remotely filter information and command so as to understand the source of the virus. However, it has mentioned that the Center will not intrude upon the privacy of individuals. The initiative and
In a report released in August, McAfee Labs has revealed that India ranks seventh among botnet victims in the world with the number of botnet senders in the country showing an increase of 14% in the first quarter of 2013. “We are seeing attacks shifting into a variety of new areas, from factories, to corporations, to government agencies, to the infrastructure that connects them together. This represents a new chapter in cyber security in that threat-development, driven by the lure of financial industry profits, has created a growing underground market for these cybercrime weapons, as well as creative new approaches to thwarting security measures common across industries,” says Vincent Weafer, McAfee Labs’ Senior Vice President in one of the recently released reports.
According to experts, even though many countries already have centres to combat spam, malware and viruses, this is the first major initiative on security in India, after the government declared the National Cyber Security Policy in July this year. Although the policy needs a greater clarity, Debasis Nayak, a cyber security law specialist mentions that the policy can help India to create a cyber security ecosystem, developing effective public-private partnerships through technical and operational cooperation.
According to him, in the past 18-24 months, a spate of attacks on the country’s most important systems such as defense, power, telecommunication and banking, bring to attention the creation of a stronget framework to safeguard critical data and information.
Once the project is implemented, users of infected computers would be sent alerts by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). There will be resources to weed out security systems as well as several punitive measures for those not following the safety precautions, as the IT Act mandates computer users to take reasonable safeguards to protect their machines and prevent these from harming others.
Nayak opines the key to its success will lie in its effective execution in creating an ecosystem for long term and sustainable growth. He adds that the authorities responsible for protecting India’s internet infrastructure should take a proactive approach and work on the basis of urgency to eradicate the threats of botnets in the country.
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