The warfare of Technology

May be the world is losing the way of peace, and daily issues between the various countries across the globe are making us live with fare of being victims of war. Cyber warfare refers to the use of digital attacks — like computer viruses and hacking — by one country to disrupt the vital computer systems of another, with the aim of creating damage, death and destruction. Future wars will see hackers using computer code to attack an enemy’s infrastructure, fighting alongside troops using conventional weapons like guns and missiles. In addition to it, cyberwar refers to the use of technology to attack a nation’s computers or information networks, causing comparable harm to actual warfare – be it damage, death or destruction.

A shadowy world that is still filled with spies,  hackers and top secret digital weapons projects, cyber warfare is an increasingly common — and dangerous — feature of international conflicts. But right now the combination of an ongoing cyber warfare, arms race, and a lack of clear rules governing online conflict means, there is a real risk that incidents could rapidly escalate out of control.

Just like normal warfare which can range from limited skirmishes to full-on battles, the impact of cyber warfare will vary by target and severity. In many cases the computer systems are not the final target — they are being targeted because of their role in managing real-world infrastructure like airports or power grids. Knock out the computers and you can shut down the airport or the power station as a result.

There are plenty of grim cyber warfare scenarios available. Perhaps attackers start with the banks: one day your bank balance drops to zero and then suddenly leaps up, showing you’ve got millions in your account. Then stock prices start going crazy as hackers alter data flowing into the stock exchange. The next day the trains aren’t running because the signaling stops working, and you can’t drive anywhere because the traffic lights are all stuck on red, and the shops in big cities start running out of food. Pretty soon a country could be reduced to gridlock and chaos, even without the doomsday scenarios of hackers disabling power stations or opening dams.

For example, botnets that exist to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks can target critical services and cripple entities digitally, or may even serve as a diversion from other malicious cyber activities, such as attempts to infiltrate the network. Spear phishing and social engineering, too, are techniques also deployed in order to get cyber criminals closer to the targeted systems. Threats from the inside pose a significant risk for organizations hoping to safeguard their systems against intruders, though are highly potent as far as hackers are concerned, allowing hackers to directly expose a network to a threat, or allow a group to steal sensitive data.

India has a solid and well-deserved reputation as one of the leaders in the global IT industry. This makes it all the more surprising that, until recently, Indian authorities had paid relatively little attention to introducing cyber technologies in the country’s governance system and using them to combat cyber threats posed by hackers acting out of personal, economic, and political motives. In July 2018, it was announced that a military agency on cyber security was being formed; the agency will be working in close cooperation with the executive office of the National Security Advisor (a position that was established in 2015). Plans for the agency call for over providing some 1,000 experts who will ensure the cyber security of the military, the navy and the air force as well as conducting offensive operations in cyberspace. In the future, this agency should be transformed into a full-fledged cyber command. The newly-created body was called the Defense Cyber Agency (DCA).

Indian IT specialists have created a product that may be used to process massive amounts of information for the purposes of intelligence and counter-intelligence. It has already been tested: according to the Indian media, police used it to successfully prevent several protests by analyzing the social media activity of certain individuals and to find roughly 3,000 children missing in New Delhi. There are plans to complete the development of a new cyber security strategy by 2020.

The biggest success was the brick foundation of Innefu Labs in 2010, which develops products related analytics and cyber security—works with large enterprises, defense agencies and law enforcement agencies in India.

One of the biggest challenges faced by the startup was lack of adoption of the technology in the customer segment. “Apart from that, finding the right talent pool with relevant domain expertise along with data scientist background was extremely difficult.

The startup uses multiple AI models working on different datasets to extract relevant intelligence automatically and correlate all different datasets into one big data repository for predictive modeling. These AI models are used to predict fraud in the financial sector—insurance, banking and finance— law enforcement and national security. Innefu won the ‘Security Product Company of the Year’ by Data Security Council of India (DSCI) in 2018. DSCI is a not-for-profit industry body on data protection in India which has been set up by NASSCOM. In 2017, the startup was classified as one of the top five companies in the cyber excellence globally

But in present scenario, the common citizen want to live with peace and hope the government will come with all security measures in cyber world to ensure the security to its networks, defense and citizens.

India’s leadership has acknowledged possible threats and is developing the necessary response means that take into account the realities of cyber warfare that is being conducted without regard for existing borders and for pacts and treaties regulating military action; cyber warfare also allows states to conceal their complicity in a cyber-attack against another state. The Indian authorities are paying more and more attention to conducting defensive and offensive operations in cyberspace while striving to reduce the country’s dependence on tools developed aboard and giving preference to forward-looking India-made products.

In response to the recent tension between China and India, the Ministry of Information and Technology on September 2, 2020, banned PUBG and 118 other widely popular Chinese mobile applications. As per the statement by the ministry, a total of 118 mobile apps have been banned by the government as they are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty, public order, and defense of India.

Khalid Mustafa is Management & IT Expert