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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS :  Today’s weapon of choice, its expanding dimensions

 

 Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims:Linkage of organised crimes with terrorism, Right to privacy, AI etc
  • Mains GS Paper III:Linkage of organised crimes with terrorism, implications of cybercrimes on security etc

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • As the 21st century advances, a new danger-the cyber threat is becoming a hydra-headed monster.

 

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Cybercrime:

  • It  is defined as a crime where a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offense.
  • Cybercrimes are at an all-time high, impacting individuals, businesses, and countries.

 

Types of Cybercrimes:

 

 

Cyber threats:

  • They are a superset of interconnected information and communication technology, hardware, software processes, services, data and systems”. Viewed from this perspective, it constitutes a critical aspect of our national power.

 

Types of Cyber Threats:

  • Malware, Viruses, Trojans, Spywares, Backdoors: which allow remote access.
  • DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service): which floods servers and networks and makes them unusable.
  • DNS (Domain Name System): poisoning attacks which compromises the DNS and redirect websites to malicious sites.

 

Grey zone operations:

  • It is defined as “competitive interactionsamong and within state and non-state actors that fall between the traditional war and peace duality.
  • They have become the new battleground, especially in regard to cyber warfare.
  • The convergence of emerging technologies alongside new hybrid usages, pose several challenges to nations and institutions.

Grey Zone Warfare:

  • The recent arrest of a Russian: for hacking into computers involved in the conduct of examinations for entry into the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
    • It is a reflection of how cyber criminals are significantly amplifying their ‘Grey Zone Warfare’ tactics.

Threat:

  • It has grave implications for the entire spectrum:that are totally dependent on technologically-driven remote access functioning as a part of their everyday business activity.
  • Distortion by private players: of the concept of ‘the information superhighway’ casts a dark shadow over the entire current systems of belief, providing a great deal of fuel for thought.
  • Several non-state actors engaging in hybrid warfare: distorting day-to-day practices, including examinations.

 

The Defense Cyber Agency (DCyA):

  • It is a tri-service command of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The agency is tasked with handling cyber security threats.
  • The DCyA draws personnel from all three branches of the Armed Forces.
  • The head of the DCyA is an officer of two-star rank, and reports to the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) through the Integrated Defense Staff (IDS)

Issue:

  • Demands for a cyber command by the Indian military ignore the widely varying nature of the cyber threat.

 

 

Steps taken by India:

 

 

Way Forward

  • Versatility and imaginative thinking: Dealing with the cyber threat calls for both versatility and imaginative thinking.
  • Group of United Nations government experts: They have been deliberating endlessly on how to promote responsible behavior of states in cyberspace, without much success is testimony to the difficulties that prevail.
  • Niche solutions: for cyber intrusions are available (though little known or used) and it is important that those concerned undertake a leap of faith to install such solutions before the situation goes out of control.
  • In the case of the Russia-Ukraine war: cyberspace has become an experiment for various players to try and support a weaker nation against a more powerful opponent, considered essential to the success or failure of any war strategy.
  • Hybrid warfare and distorting day-to-day practices: These pose legal, ethical and real dilemmas
    • If left unchecked, the world may have to confront a new kind of Wild West, before states find a common denominator for regulating cyberspace.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

  1. Discuss different types of Cybercrimes and measures required to be taken to fight the menace.(UPSC 2020)

(200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)

  1. What is the CyberDome Project? Explain how it can be useful in controlling internet crimes in India.(UPSC 2019)

(200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)