The rising threat of terrorism has led to unprecedented levels of security at Indian airports, railway stations, hotels, ports etc. But the government does not seem to see the bigger threat, which will not come from AK-47s, bombs and rifles. The next big attack will be come from terrorists in the cyber world.
We live in a technologically interconnected world. Most of us cannot imagine even a single day without our cell phones, internet and ATMs. There is hardly any distinction between where our bodies end and technology begins. Would it be surprising then, if terrorists choose to attack India via the internet?
Let me share some facts about how real and damaging that threat can be If a terrorist group were to attack our stock market and financial infrastructure, it would cause widespread panic and losses to millions of people and organizations. Imagine yourself running helplessly from one ATM to another, trying to withdraw money from your account, only to find that the attack has forced banks to suspend online transactions.
Likewise, our telecom infrastructure. If it were flooded with malicious data, business and personal life would grind to a standstill. Terrorists could also target India's top businesses, hacking into their systems, stealing valuable intellectual property, sensitive information and company secrets. Even military networks can be targeted.
These scenarios are not from a Bollywood flick, but tangible threats that loom large. In May 2007, Estonia — a small but technologically sophisticated Baltic country — fell victim to a cyber attack. The unidentified terrorists bombarded the country's network with data traffic, clogging it and rendering major services unusable. People were not able to access financial utilities, communications and data services for several hours and some, for days together. What stops cyber terrorists from launching similar attacks in India?
Very little because, despite being an infotech power, India lags on cyber...
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