Are we fighting a Cyber-Kargil War?

cybBy Abhilasha

Seems like the two nations, who are always at loggerheads with one another, are heading towards another war. Just that, this time it’s different. This time instead of arms and ammunition, guns and barrels; decryption keys are the main weapons being used.  And government websites are the victims being attacked.

This cyber war has now been continuing for a while and it seems like there isn’t an end to it. Hackers on both sides of the LOC have constantly attacked the other country’s cyber security in an effort to prove their cyber prowess, and have unfortunately succeeded in doing that every time. Contrary to state sponsored cyber espionage battles involving U.S., China and Russia, patriotic individuals and ‘hacktivist’ groups are the ones poisoning bilateral relations between these two countries which already have a history of being arch enemies.

The most recent incidents began on 26th January, when Pakistani hackers defaced about 2,118 Indian websites, including those of Central Bank of India and that of model turned actress Poonam Pandey displaying jingoistic Pakistani slogans like “Pakistan Zindabad” and “Kashmir Cyber Army”. Yes, Poonam Pandey!! God knows what they were thinking! Nevertheless, a wise choice to capture a majority of male attention. This, this led to the offended and rather disgruntled Indian hackers retaliating by defacing the homepages of about 100 Pakistani web pages. “How dare they? Inki aisi himmat?” So then again the Pakistanis further retaliated by hacking the websites of the Indian Ministry of Defence and Doordarshan.

Eye for an eye, tit for tat and all of that! But is it serving any purpose? It simply leads to the government increasing its expenditure on state of the art facilities to make their systems more secure as state owned agencies have been the prime victims of these cyber attacks. These so called ‘hackers’ seem to have some sort of absurd misconception that cybercrime is the new and effective way of expressing patriotism. But the only outcome I see coming out of it is that the subcontinent can now be regarded as a prospective hub for hacking talent in the near future, if need be. United States and Russia now surely know where to hire the best professional hackers from!


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