A total of 92 incidents of hacking of websites, belonging to the Centre as well as State Governments, have been reported, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said during the parliamentary question and answer session while responding to cybersecurity-related queries.
The minister said: “As per the information reported to and tracked by the CERT-In, during the years 2021 and 2022,14,02,809 and 13,91,457 cybersecurity incidents, respectively, were observed, including 42 and 50 incidents, respectively, of hacking of websites belonging to the Central Government and the State Governments.”
Chandrasekhar also stated that CERT-In notified affected organisations and coordinated incident response measures with affected organisations, service providers, respective sector regulators, and law enforcement agencies.
According to him, in order to conceal the identity of the real systems from which threat actors launch the attacks, it has been noticed that attackers hack computer systems located in different parts of the world and “use masquerading techniques and hidden servers”.
The minister went on to explain the modus operandi of the threat actors and stated that the attackers continue to develop their attack strategies, exploit well-known flaws, steal credentials from remote access services, and phishing operations to obtain access to the infrastructure of businesses in a variety of industries.
He said: “With innovation in technology and rise in usage in the cyberspace and digital infrastructure for businesses and services, cyber-attacks pose a threat to confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and services, which may have an indirect or direct impact on the economy of businesses and service providers.”
“Such economic impact is specific to the impacted entity, and depends on the extent to which its data, assets and services are affected by such attacks,” he noted.
SAFE AND TRUSTED INTERNET
As the government is working on several legislations to safeguard India’s online space, Chandrasekhar once again reminded the parliament that the government is not only aware of the threats but also is dedicated to ensuring that the Internet is accessible, trustworthy, and accountable for its users.
However, according to the minister, to improve India’s cybersecurity posture and reduce such threats, a number of steps have been taken. This includes a Cyber Crisis Management Plan, developed by CERT-In, for the Central, State Governments, and their organisations, as well as vital sectors. This will help to combat cyberattacks and cyberterrorism.
Highlighting what CERT-In has been doing, the MoS said that it regularly conducts training sessions for network and system administrators, as well as Chief Information Security Officers of government and critical sector organisations, on protecting the IT infrastructure and preventing cyberattacks.
Furthermore, on a regular basis, CERT-In has been providing alerts and advisories covering the most recent cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and mitigation strategies to secure computers and networks.
Separately, CERT-In also runs the Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) to identify dangerous software, offer free tools to get rid of it and give individuals, as well as organisations advice on how to be safe online.
To create situational awareness about current and potential cyber security threats, the National Cyber Coordination Centre was also established, said MoS Chandrasekhar. He further added that mock drills are conducted to assess the cyber security posture and preparedness of organisations in the government and critical sectors.
So far, 74 such drills have been conducted by CERT-In and over 900 organisations from different states and sectors have participated.
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