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Taming the cyber monsters

The  Legion  hacks are the latest in line to tell the citizens about the tatters that cyber security in India lies in. The least such exposures would do is drive away the still reluctant citizenry from using the digital gateways. However, it does give an explicit warning that a massive cyberattack on critical information infrastructure in India — banking technologies, communications, and healthcare services— may be currently under way.

This group calling itself the  legion  has claimed responsibility for hacking Twitter accounts and emails belonging to the industrialist Vijay Mallya, Ravish Kumar and journalists Barkha Dutt and Indian National Congress. It has also claimed access to “encryption keys and certificates” used by some Indian banks, about 40,000 servers in India, and confidential medical data in servers of some private hospital chains. But the group members make so much money selling “weaponised exploits” that selling confidential data isn t high on their mandate.

When United States and Israel implanted Stuxnet, the cyber weapon to slow down Iranian nuclear centrifuges, they used a zero-day exploit to falsify digital certificates and run in Windows operating systems. If Legion gains access to  Secure Socket Layer  (SSL) certificate that the Indian banks use for authenticating a user s computer or mobile phone, the group can easily have access to confidential login information and that would lead to an unprecedented financial loss and chaos in the country.

Crimes like electronic fraud are underreported in India. One problem that such cybersecurity issues face is negligence of potency of human element in purporting such crimes.

A country that plans to go cashless and banks heavily on digital payments must handle cyber security issues with utmost priority or its dream would end before seeing the dawn of the day.

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