India faces serious threat from cyber terrorism, warns expert

December 16th, 2008 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Dec 16 (IANS) India faces a serious threat from cyber terrorists and steps should be taken to thwart them, a cyber security expert said here Tuesday.The country is vulnerable to cyber terrorism and any such attack will bring it to a standstill and will have long-term impact on business and investment, said Ankit Fadia, who helped Mumbai Police to trace the email sent by terrorists soon after 26/11 attacks.

Ankit warned that India could face cyber terrorism on the scale of the one witnessed in Estonia in 2007. The small Baltic country came to a standstill due to three-week wave of massive cyber attacks.

The banking system, stock trading, communications, airports, railway stations and several other key activities could be paralysed due to such attacks.

“If it can happen in tech-savvy Estonia, there is no reason why it can’t happen in India, which despite being IT superpower is poor in cyber security,” he told a news conference here Tuesday.

“After the recent attacks, we have tightened security at airports, railway and bus stations and at vital installations but we are ignoring our cyber security. The next threat India faces is from cyber terrorism and this attack can be carried out by terrorists without even touching our soil,” he said.

In the recent cases of Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts, criminals hacked into wi-fi systems of individuals to send terror mails.

Referring to lack of awareness about cyber security, the ethical hacker said after the Mumbai attacks the police were looking for basic software to trace the terror email.

He called for training police personnel to tackle cyber crimes. “Our cyber laws are fine but they are useless (unless) we have people to implement them,” he said.

He also called for introducing compulsory cyber security courses in colleges to train the required manpower.

According to a report by Nasscom, by the end of 2008, India will have a shortfall of cyber security experts by 40 percent.

Ankit, author of 13 books on cyber security, said India also lacked training for cyber security experts. Many experts employed by IT majors were trained abroad.

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