Following Legion’s Hacking Warnings, IT Ministry To Strengthen Indian Government’s Cyber Security

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IT Ministry

Some time has passed since Legion, the self-described hacking group, broke through the cyber defences of Congress VP Rahul Gandhi, fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya and journalists like Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar. In light of a recent threat by the group to its plans to break into theIndian Government’s domains likeSansad.nic.in, the IT ministry led by Ravi Shankar Prasad has assured that theMinistry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has said it will work on protecting the security firewall of the government’s servers and has come up with advisories including audits of the financial sector starting immediately with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to further prevent such untoward incidents.

Union minister of electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that he has ordered a review of the “entire IT infrastructure” of India and the need of the hour is “hardening” of the security wall. He was quoted by the Economic Times as saying,“There is huge traffic flowing through the IT platforms, if there is any mishap, the systems have to be resilient and we have to take appropriate measures,” A digital payments and real-time threat analysis centre, called the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, or ICERT, has been set up.Two other major initiatives to curb cyber crime – the BotNet Centre and the National Cyber Coordination Centre will also be expedited and are expected to come up before the end of this financial year.

IT Ministry

These initiatives come in the wake of Legion’s threat that it will hack government servers and the statement-cum-threat that“Next is a dump of sansad-nic.in emails. Which is — quite big. It includes a lot of _BIG FISH_,” as quoted on an encrypted chat with FactorDaily. In a separate interview with the Washington Post, the hacktivist group claimed that it had broken into the Apollo Hospital and had sensitive information on J. Jayalalitha’sdeath. Not much is known about the group, except their claims of having data of 50,000 corporate clients and that their number of members numbering in the “higher single digits.”

In related news, Legion already claims to have confidential data pertaining to NPCI and the IDRBT, the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology. This statement will soothe frayed public nerves and will help banks, who are already reeling from the after-effects of demonetisation, to gather momentum to implement the government plans for a digital India. The general public, too, will use more digital transactions once they know that digital payments, including the NPCI, are safe. We will be keeping a close eye here on the hacktivist group’s activities in the near future. Just today, they have claimed ‘connections’ within the Indian political elite.

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