IT Ministry Vows To Strengthen Cyber Security In India

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In the wake of hacking of twitter accounts of many high-profile personalities e.g. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, liquor baron Vijay Mallya and some journalists; the ministry of electronics and IT has asked the social media portal to ‘strengthen security’.

Union minister of electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that he has ordered a review of the “entire IT infrastructure” of India and the need of the hour is “hardening” of the security wall.

“We have told Twitter so. If there are any incidents of cyberattacks, they should immediately inform CERT,” said Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) is the nodal agency under the ministry that handles and counters cyberattacks. Twitter was unavailable for a comment. Sources said police and CERT sleuths were considering the matter and asked for the details of hacked accounts.

Prasad said that the ministry has started a review of the IT Act to strengthen it as the Act was formed in 2000, almost 16 year ago – and may have to be updated to deal with the move towards digital payments and mobile banking.

“The Act came into being in 2000. It has, by and large, served us well. Now, as we move towards a digital economy, we are reviewing if there is a need to relook at its architecture, to make it more deterrent for cyber criminals,” Prasad said.

The government has formed two teams in CERT-In, one to respond to cyber-attacks and the other to monitor digital payments.

“All digital payments agencies have been asked to report to CERT-In any unusual activity on their platforms. We are taking several measures to ensure a resilient system. We will audit the IT infra of NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and have formed crack teams at CERT-In for immediate response. CITOs (chief IT officers) have been appointed in every ministry and government department. We are undertaking a massive programme to create awareness among the administrative machinery,” the minister said.

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