Indian Government Websites: An Open Invitation to Cyber Criminals
If you are a cyber-criminal – Indian government websites could be an open invitation!!!! Surprised? Top government agencies have put vast amount of valuable personal information online, with little privacy to access. These websites are attracting criminals looking for official data and contact information of top business and political people. There's hardly any provision to prevent the misuse and everything is open for all. A gold mine of database, including information of Indian Citizens – some of country's wealthiest residents, is available for misuse. A digital security expert – Binoo Thomas, at McAfee Labs said, “If I want to target someone, I have easy access to so much information that shouldn't have been in public. I would say, hackers with good engineering skills will be able to dig out the information of any person. It's not restricted to just celebrities, but can be anybody.” Hackers would simply need to use Internet to get personal details of some richest people as many of them have their complete contact details. Sometimes, the database is searchable by name itself. You can search for any famous surname and there will be the complete information – contact number and resident address. Isn't it a big loophole in security system of the country? Isn't it a threat? According to Indian authorities, cyber attacks on government websites in the country are increasing. Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) report revealed the increase – including cyber strikes on both financial and government networks. The targeted websites are used widely by the government and other industries on the subcontinent. Identity theft – it's has been on the rise. As the authorities have been pushed to function with more transparency, leading to misuse of data by some illegal communities. Data controllers are in violation of data protection principles. There are certain rules regarding the publication of data, but they have to be strictly followed in order to maintain a high level of privacy and security. High-end technology – India does not have any compilation of privacy law, giving rise to cyber crime and other illegal activities. J Satyanarayana – Secretary at the department of information technology, said, “We need to think on this problem according to the drafted privacy law. Our view of privacy has been different both traditionally and culturally but we welcome a more explicit understanding of the law.” He also told that the provisions for data protection comes under Section 43A of the IT Act. It's high time for India to decide on a standard protocol and to decide on who shall have access to government information and who shall not. The growing threat to Indian government websites has to be checked.