Cyber Warfare: Is India Ready?

Cyber Warfare: Definition and Introduction

As the name suggests cyber warfare is the modern war between two nations using technology as a weapon causing significant harm to the security systems of a country. Though there is a debate on the actual definition of cyber warfare, it can be anything that disrupts the computer systems of hospitals, armed forces, institutions, security agencies, etc of the enemy country.

Cyber warfare

Cyber warfare doesn’t need big armies, weapons, aircraft, tanks but needs only handful people that can create chaos in the enemy country by sitting thousands of kilometers away. China, Russia, and Israel are creating cyber armies that can easily penetrate the security systems of enemy countries.


Effects of Cyber Warfare

On 11 February 2013 people of Great Falls, Montana all of sudden received a message on their TV screens that “Dead Bodies are rising from graves”. This news sounds authentic to people and only four people contacted police regarding this hoax and the rest of people got baffled creating traffic jams on roads to escape.

Effects of Cyber Warfare

The perpetrator of this hoax was never caught and it’s still a mystery that how exactly this was done. So, it’s very clear that a cyber attack during cyber warfare can create chaos in a country without any physical involvement.

Following are the possible effects of cyber warfare on India: 

  • During wartime, it can fail all hospital systems resulting in a large number of deaths.
  • It can hack all computer systems that are used to operate military weapons like UAV, Fighter planes, submarines, missile systems, etc causing a massive military breakdown and easily win a war.
  • It can also spread rumors among citizens through social media which can scare people resulting in the shutdown of cities, schools, and shops.
  • It can be used to spy people through their country origin mobile application. For example, there are very high chances that a trusted application can pass on sensitive information to its origin country during wartime.

Types of Cyber Warfare

There are tons of cyber attacks that a country can launch in India during cyber warfare. Some of the major attacks are as follows:

Types of Cyber Attacks

1. Denial of Service (DOS) Attack

It is an attack that is used to crash servers by using a high amount of invalid traffic or bot traffic. During wartime, this can be used to crash government websites and portals which can break the communication between citizens and officials.

2. Injection Attack

It is an attack in which malicious code is injected in applications, software, games, etc which can steal the data of the user when installed. During wartime, this can be used to spy or steal the data of millions of users which is a plus point from a strategic point of view.

3. Man in the Middle Attack

As the name suggests a third person can take over the communication between two servers.

For example:

When you went to your bank’s website to transfer some money but later you came to know that all the money from your account gets vanished. This is because someone else came in between you and your bank’s website and he/she is accessing and making payments on behalf of you. This is called Man in the Middle attack. During wartime, you can’t even imagine the consequences of this attack.

Future of Cyber Warfare and Capabilities by a Country

It is very hard to predict that cyber warfare can happen or not in the future but yes countries are preparing themselves from any type of potential attack.

There are several organizations like the NSO group of Israel, NSA of United states, Chinese cyber army, etc which are constantly working to monitor data of people.

A recent example of politically motivated Pegasus spyware in India spread by the NSO group of Israel to steal the data of targeted victims like politicians, journalists, and bureaucrats. So, you never know who is spying on you, when you are browsing through the internet.

Cyber Warfare: India's Concern

According to many cybersecurity experts, India is among the top three countries in the world after the US and China in terms of the highest number of phishing and malware attacks.

Recently in October 2019, The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) reported that there is a security breach at Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant. Further, it was found that a user had connected its malware-infected system to the main administrative network of the plant. So, there is a threat of cyber attacks in India.

Data shows that there is one security breach every 10 minutes in India because of a lack of awareness and training among the people. This can be minimized by using original software in Government departments, investing more money in hiring professional IT employees, and regularly updating security patches and systems.     

Steps to Prevent a Cyber Warfare Attack in India

So, to prevent yourself from any type of cyber attack during cyber warfare, you have to keep your data safe. Because the data like passwords, images, documents can act against you during cyber warfare. You will be the first to become the victim of a cyber attack if you take the internet for granted. So, here are some basic precautionary steps:
  • Never visit untrusted websites and don’t install malicious apps from the internet. For example, A video editing app never asks permission for contacts if it does, then uninstall it right away.
  • Always use a trusted antivirus that will protect your system from trojans and worms. Always update your antivirus because viruses too keep changing and modifying their code.
  • Avoid using open Wi-Fi facilities at railway stations or malls to make bank payments, Logins, etc as chances of phishing are very high.
  • Always encrypt sensitive data in your computer and never click on malicious links sent through e-mail, WhatsApp, and Facebook.
  • Always keep reading and searching updates about cybersecurity and immediately contact your nearest cyber cell if you found your security is breached.

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