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Prelims Capsule

Defence & Security

Cyberattacks knock out sites of Ukrainian army

Cyberattacks knock out sites of Ukrainian army


  • GS 3 || Security || Internal Security Threats || Cyber Security


  • India is presently the world’s second-largest online market. Although technological advancements and the internet have brought with them several benefits, they have also resulted in an upsurge in cybercrime, which is hurting people all over the world. The Pegasus snooping scandal and the Wannacry attack have exposed India’s vulnerability to cyber-crime threats.

Why in the news?

  • A series of cyber-attacks recently knocked the websites of the Ukrainian army, the defense ministry, and major banks offline, Ukrainian authorities said, as tensions persisted over the threat of a possible Russian invasion.

Various challenges to cyber-security in India

  • Cyber terrorism: It is premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence.
  • Digital Data Threat:Growing online transactions have generated bigger incentives for cybercriminals.
    • Besides, establishments looking to mine data (customer information, results of product surveys, and generic market information), they also create intellectual property that is in itself an attractive target.
  • Cyber warfare:It involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation’s computers or information networks.
  • Cyber Infrastructure Concerns:Most equipment and technology systems are vulnerable to cyber threats just like any other connected system. Although the government has set up National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), it is yet to identify and implement measures to protect critical information infrastructure.
  • Lack of specialists:Globally, India ranks 2nd in terms of the number of Internet users after China (Internet World Stats, 2017). However, India has a negligible base of cyber-security specialists, when compared to internet user base.
  • Lack of robust law enforcement mechanisms:India’s approach to cyber security has so far been ad hoc and unsystematic. Despite a number of agencies, policies and initiatives, their implementation has been far from satisfactory.
  • Lack of Coordination:Due to the existence of too many agencies with overlapping functions in the field of cyber security, coordination between these agencies is poor.

Steps taken by the government to improve Cyber Security

●       Section 66F of ITA: Specific provision dealing with the issue of cyber terrorism that covers denial of access, unauthorized access, the introduction of computer contaminant leading to harm to persons, property, critical infrastructure, disruption of supplies, ‘sensitive data’ thefts.

●       Provides for punishment that may extend to life imprisonment.

●       National Cyber Security Policy 2013: Policy document drafted by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology.

●       Established National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to improve the protection and resilience of the country’s critical infrastructure information; Create a workforce of 5 lakh professionals skilled in cybersecurity in the next 5 years.


●       National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC): It seeks to generate necessary situational awareness of existing and potential cyber security threats and enable timely information sharing for proactive, preventive, and protective actions by individual entities. ●        National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) under National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) coordinates with different agencies at the national level for cyber security matters.



●       CERT-IN: Organization under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology with an objective of securing Indian cyberspace.

●        Purpose –To respond to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities, and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country.


 Information Security Education and Awareness Project (ISEA): Training of personnel to raise awareness and provide research, education, and training in the field of Information Security
●       Cyber Surakshit Bharat Initiative: It was launched in 2018 with an aim to spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.


●       Cyber Crisis Management Plan (CCMP): It aims at countering cyber threats and cyber terrorism


●       Cyber Swachhta Kendra: This platform was introduced for internet users to clean their computers and devices by wiping out viruses and malware.


●        National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC)-It has been set up to enhance the protection and resilience of the Nation’s Critical information infrastructure.



Way forward


  • Cyber-security is needed in the present era of increasing connectivity. Although the government has taken many proactive steps, much needed to be done to enhance the country’s cyber-security. It is important to bring a robust policy and effectively implement the same.

Mains model Question

  • Discuss various threats and challenges to cyber-security in India. What initiatives are being taken by the government to enhance cyber-security in India?