Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan formally launched the operations of the Computer Emergency Response Team-Kerala (CERT-K) here on Wednesday against the background of hacking of 40 government Web sites by cyber criminals in November and December last year.

The agency will coordinate security efforts and incidence response for IT security problems as well as emerging telecom security problems at the State level in conjunction with its national counterpart CERT-IN. The Government had ordered the establishment of the agency in April last year as nodal agency for monitoring various cyber security matters in Kerala.

N. Krishnan, Director of CERT-K, said that the agency had been able to take protective measures against a threat to hack the Web sites of Kerala government on December 31. It had traced some of the attacks that had happened in the last two months to a group calling themselves ‘Iranian Silent Boys’. They had entered the Web sites using a spoofed Internet protocol address and planted a ‘shell program’ to do the hacking. Though the IP address appeared to belong to Austria, the attackers were actually operating from Pakistan.

He said the agency would work to enhance the security of the State government’s communications and information infrastructure

through pro-active action and effective collaboration with police and other agencies. CERT-K would also oversee the implementation of a crisis management plan for the State. Security measures would be implemented for servers of the government and server side applications.

He said that the agency would also be providing assistance to private agencies coming under attack of cyber criminals. It functioned under the Information Technology Department of the State government.

Keywords: cyber crime