e-governance and public service delivery websites vulnerable to attacks

Chief Minister Oomen Chandy on Friday urged the implementation of a contemporary and continuously evolving cyber security policy to insulate the State and its citizens from cyber crimes.

Inaugurating the International Cyber Security and Policing Conference here, Mr. Chandy said State government’s e-governance and public service delivery websites were vulnerable to denial of service attacks. Anti-India hackers had defaced several government websites in the past.

He also women and children were increasingly becoming victims of cyber crimes, such as “advance fee and confidence frauds”, defamation, identity theft and cyber stalking.

The internet and modern day digital devices such as mobile phones were used to disseminate pornographic content among impressionable youngsters.

In 2010, the State police registered almost 1,000 cases relating to various violations of the IT Act.

Delivering the key not address, Shashi Tharoor, MP, said cyber criminals targeted social networking websites for the immense data bases they provided.

He said social engineering attacks were on the rise. Hackers gained access to the social networking accounts of their victims. They would patiently observe all the little details of those persons’ lives and then get into action, Mr. Tharoor said.

Cyber attacks can be very personal. India’s own style of dealing with cyber threats left much to be desired, he said. It was relatively chaotic and there was a constant insecurity in the minds of observers that our cyber-defences were inefficient. This perception had been underscored by frequent reports of successful invasions of Indian cyberspace.

“Our approach so far has been ad hoc. There are some 12 stakeholders in protecting the cyber defences of India. They are together responsible for the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, which is the principal national agency,” Mr. Tharoor said.

Such a large number of bosses, he said was not conducive to efficiency.

Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, IT and Industries Minister P. K. Kunhalikutty, State Police chief Jacob Punnose, former Director General of State Police and chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, P. K. Hormis Tharakan, Inspector General of Police (Coordination and Operation) Lok Nath Behra, Alok Vijayant, director of the National Technical Research Organisation, and Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Manoj Abraham, were among those who participated.

More In: Kerala | National | States | News