Editorial

Global Cyber War

by Vaidehi Sachin

Recently we launched a magazine titled Hacker5 based on the cyber happenings. The launch was witnessed by hundreds of brilliant youth who pursued hacking as their career. I was surprised to come across a shocking as well as surprising news which pushed me to browse through all those sites which are celebrating 26/11 as a remarkable victory day. It’s pathetic and very much hurting to see how the government could neglEditorialect such issues on minor notes. If a layman can browse and notice such sites, where the intelligence department has gone? When I asked our so called cyber security tycoon about banning such sites, he said probably they are hoisted in Pakistan and we have no control over the same. How helpless is our system, Ajmal Kasab is enjoying all privileges like a VIP guest at the cost of billions of rupees. The sufferers are yet to come out of this trauma and we are just crippled over such issue? Who will stop such websites and blogs? When can this be brought to an end? Unfortunately neither government nor intelligence has an answer to this. But there are few patriotic hackers who have definite solution to such traits. On 26/11 they might deface this entire website to convey these cruel people to stop playing with the emotions of our country men. They have the solution to stop this kind of mental atrocities. Thousands of Pakistan websites may come down that day and its nothing but the reaction to the action. I know our Law makers and constitution will never support this stand by these hackers, but then what is the solution? If Pakistan has right to celebrate such horrifying day don’t we have right to teach them a lesson and that too for securing the pride of our nation? 
Cyber Warfare is the news headlines all over. Along with the research and development contractors they work with, are building their resources to tackle the growing need for cyber security experts. World leaders, including the United States, Russia, South Korea and Great Britain, are scrambling to organize against the rapidly increasing varieties of threats such as spyware and malware, spoofing, phishing and botnets that are having devastating effects around the world. Digital intelligence experts have labeled these escalating cyber threats as the initial development and first operational employment of the Naval Cyber Attack Team. 
Cyberspace has emerged as a mainstream warfare domain on par with air, land, sea, and space domains. This advancement to a bona fide battle space arises from the de facto behaviors of entities ranging from international superpowers to improvised non-state organizations. As a result, government and military organizations are developing new doctrines, establishing domain-focused operational hierarchies, and acquiring new systems capabilities to maintain cyberspace as a viable resource serving the national interest. Actually these hackers are not interested in any sort of war but they just want to show their capabilities for the publicity sake. If I have to give an example then there is a hacker called “Khanststic’ which is his coded name and he is from Pakistan. He has nothing to do with India and Pakistan, his only interest is to come in lime light by doing maximum defacements. So nowadays he looking at so called threat from China and is defacing their sites and publishing his name over those pages. All these hackers do defacement for publicity and over power each other and stand out as great in their hacker’s community which is taken as cyber war, but actually this defacement has got nothing do with any sort of war. Whichever country is in lime light they go and deface that website just to remain in name and create some threat. Actually defacement of websites never comes under cyber war. If you remember Stunex worm, a computet malware was discovered in June. Stuxnet’s is able to rewrite the logic system in, say, the machinery of a power plant and then covering its tracks. The result? All manner of things could happen to the plant, including a meltdown, and a meltdown is something you do not want to happen at a site with a nuclear reactor. In other words, this thing could seriously damage a country’s physical economy, power grid or production capabilities. The experts don’t believe any private or individual hackers are capable of producing this virus, only a high-tech state such as America or Israel. Although Stuxnet was identified four months ago, the only servers known to have been affected and seriously damaged are located in Iran. If cyber war takes place the attacks would be much on higher level, before you realize anything the whole cyber system and networking of the country would be stalled and recovery might take ages. There is no particular defined time or day for this war but now every country is alert about it. They are preparing their cyber Army. USA, UK and China have already announced billons for cyber security and Cyber army. They have haired all the hacker and teamed them up to fight online security threat. Unfortunately India has no such provision; all efficient hackers are doing their jobs with coded name and hidden faces. United States of America is always under cyber war threat because their ninety nine percent infrastructures are computer based. If China starts war; their prime target would be UK and USA. The topic of cyber security first gained momentum when President Obama announced in May that his administration will pursue a plan to secure America’s digital infrastructure and that, “Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority.” 

It’s good for everyone’s business and it’s really phenomenal. We’re very fortunate to be where we are with this going on; we are attacked every day by people trying to get into our systems, our bank systems and computer systems. Information Warfare and computer security are the forefronts of cyber strategies. Whenever talked about war, the first thing that comes to mind is physical war. But here it’s about the information war. Information warfare also known as Cyber war is a new bloodless war zone, where electronic messages and 'viruses' are introduced into the enemy's computers, either to disable them or to plant false information. United States’ vulnerability to cyber warfare attacks  revealing serious breaches in both the government and private sector, affecting financial institutions, energy and transportation infrastructures and national security computers. Another example of publicity through hacking is the recent cyber war between the Congress and BJP, as the main Opposition on accused the ruling party for indulging in “petty, pickpocket-like theft” of its online identity.  The intention is to pass the message through defaced page which you can not publish it openly. The petty politics over hacking will never come to an end in our country. While Chinese hackers are known to target Indian government websites, the scale and sophistication of Stuxnet suggests that only a government no less than that of countries like US, Israel or China could have done it. I think it's more likely that China is behind Stuxnet than any other country. The partial failure of ISRO's INSAT 4B satellite a few months ago -- the exact reason for which is not yet known -- to Stuxnet, it was China which gained from the satellite failure. So far no one has arrived at any definite conclusion till now. India's Space Research Organisation which uses the exact Siemens software targeted by Stuxnet. Alongwith Indonesia and Iran, India has had the maximum number of infections from Stuxnet which affects Windows computers and gets transmitted through USB sticks. While Iran and Indonesia had about 60,000 and 13,000 Stuxnet infections respectively till late September, India was at the third position with over 6,000 infections. However, it infects only those computers which use certain Siemens software systems. Siemens software systems are used in many Indian government agencies including ISRO. 
  
As it had impacted Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, it was thought that Iran might have been the intended target. Israel, in fact, had emerged as the prime suspect. The Siemens software in use in ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre is S7-400 PLC and SIMATIC WinCC, both of which, he said, would activate the Stuxnet worm. The Stuxnet worm was first discovered in June this year, a month before INSAT 4B was hit by the mysterious power failure.  In Bangalore it’s called Chikku Sharbat. Is the nick name of Indian cyber worms that are creating havoc in Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). No one knows if and when India unleashed the ''Sharbat'' in Chikku-land (China). But the Chinese in latest round have desperately unleashed the deadly Stuxnet internet worm without being able to completely concealing the identity of the originating identities. What is just getting unveiled is the scare among the Chinese Military about Indian Cyber Missile Chikku Sharbat originating from Bangalore. One of the solutions may be that US Corporations should keep Bangalore busier with outsourcing contracts so that Indian cyber hackers working in Bangalore have less time to go after Chikkuland (China). : India has expressed concern at the way both Pakistan and China are rapidly bolstering their military capabilities, in the backdrop of the armed forces warning that the possibility ``a two-front war'' breaking out cannot be ruled out altogether even though it may be a remote scenario. 
Its high time we need skill full Indian Cyber Army to tackle cyber war and there is no harm if government start announcing about uniting all Indian hackers for the better future for country’s online security.