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Bengaluru, NFAPost: Suspected malware attack is reported from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Ministry of Electronics and Informational Technology (MEITY) as many hundred computers at these respective departments got affected.

According to sources, the NIC had filed a complaint regarding the same in the first week of September. Delhi Police Special Cell launched the probe on suspected attack.

Sources said the complaint lodged by an employee of the MEITY states they received an email with some attachments, upon clicking which all the data got deleted in his system. It was found to be a malware and bug and has since affected hundreds of computers of both NIC and MEITY.

“We have registered a complaint based on the NIC staffer’s complaint and are investigating it,” a Special Cell official said.

Attack on proxy server

The origins of the bug have been traced to an IT company in Bengaluru; however, it is also being suspected that the email containing the bug was reportedly sent from the United States via a proxy server to the Bengaluru based firm.

In a related development, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval has said that there is a 500% spike in cybercrime in the country. He pointed out that this is primarily because of limited awareness and poor cyber hygiene.

Delivering the key-note address via video conferencing at the two-day virtual cyber conference, `Cocon 2020‘, he said that the government is striving hard to protect the country’s cyberspace.

The National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 has focussed on all areas of cybersecurity through its three pillars. There is a greater dependence on digital payment platforms due to reduced cash handling and greater data sharing is happening online and presence on social media has also increased,” said National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.

Pandemic situation

However, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said while Indian’s are able to manage affairs to a certain extent, malicious actors are also found in it, a new opportunity. Citing an example of how fake and malicious apps tried to exploit the pandemic situation, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said within a few hours of the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the PM Cares fund, several fake Arogya Setu apps popped up to exploit data.

The NSA warned the citizens that they should be cyber aware, maintain cyber hygiene, secure personal gadgets and report cybercrime and have responsible behaviour in cyberspace. After reports emerged of Chinese companies snooping on more than 10,000 Indian individuals and organisations in its global database of “foreign targets”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) raised the issue with the Chinese ambassador.

An expert committee under the National Cyber Security Coordinator will study reports of surveillance by Chinese firm Zhenhua Data Information Technology and submit its report within 30 days. However, China said that Zhenhua is a private company and stated its position publicly, as per sources

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