India has ability to thwart Chinese hackers or any other cyber attacks, govt tells parl panel | India News | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack

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NEW DELHI: The government has told the parliamentary standing committee on information technology that it has the cutting edge technology, standard operating procedures and processes to tackle any cyber-attack that may come India’s way.
Appearing before the Shashi Tharoor-led House panel on Tuesday, IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney told the committee that India has robust cyber security mechanisms in place and that it is well prepared to counter and quell any attacks.
In response to questions about the Mumbai outage, which Massachusetts-based cybersecurity firm Recorded Future had in February attributed to the infiltration of Chinese state-backed hackers in at least 10 electricity assets owned by NTPC and POSCO, Sawhney is learnt to have acknowledged “a problem”, but did not divulge details referring to them as “classified information”. Sources TOI spoke to also said the official told the panel that the government had identified and neutralised the threat.
Earlier, the standing committee on energy had also pulled up the Centre for “laxity” in safeguarding the cybersecurity of India’s electricity infrastructure amid ongoing efforts to integrate the national grid infrastructure with the internet.
“Since the country has decided to go ahead with the smart grid and smart metering technologies in a big way, the committee is of the view that such issues could wreak havoc in the energy sector, if we are not prepared with a fool-proof plan to timely avert them,” the committee had said in its report.
On Tuesday, members of the IT panel also sought to know where India had located its servers and cyber security infrastructure, and whether the government had drawn up a list of “bad hackers” whose activities it would track. Sources said the government said it did not have such a list. Ministry officials were also unable to unable to provide data of the number of cyber-attacks India has faced over the last few months.
A day earlier, the IT panel had also questioned the government over the new digital media rules it notified to regulate OTT and social media platforms. Panel members also argued that government did not have the right to demand that social media platforms part with information about the “originators” of messages on demand by government or courts, saying this would interfere with the encryption offered by various platforms.
Government, however, argued that technical experts it conferred with had said social media platforms could, before messages were encrypted, identify where an offensive message had originated, and that the government was empowered, under Section 69(A) of the IT Act, 2000, to demand this information.
In response, the government had told the House panel that “Energy Efficiency Services Limited had investigated the (Mumbai) incident and the disconnection was being done from HES (Head End System) and it has been moved to the MDM which is better practice. It was further said that so far, it has not come to any conclusion relating to cyber security aspect or of any sabotage and EESL has been asked to take corrective actions,” the report said.


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