Cyber Attacks | 31 Oct 2019

  • Recently, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) has confirmed that a malware had infected its system at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).
  • The malware named ‘Dtrack’ is a new spyware tool that is believed to be actively targeting a large number of Indian institutions, in order to steal confidential data as well as a remotely downloading malicious tool- tracking key logs and monitoring IP (internet protocol) traffic.
    • Dtrack was originated in North Korea by the hackers’ group Lazarus.
  • The attack revived the memories of Stuxnet virus attack on an Iranian nuclear facility in 2018.
  • The acceptance of cyberattack in NPCIL systems highlights the fact that nuclear reactors are not only prone to natural disasters but also to cyberattacks.

Cyber Attacks Definition

  • It is a malicious and deliberate attempt by an individual or organization to breach the information system of another individual or organization.
  • There are various types of cyberattacks like malware, phishing, denial of service attacks, etc.

Recent Instances of Cyber Attacks

  • WhatsApp recently filed a lawsuit against Israel's NSO Group, alleging that the firm was incorporating cyber-attacks on the application by infecting mobile devices with malicious software.
    • Users affected included journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, and diplomats.
  • A massive cyber-attack took place at multiple targets in Georgia on October 28, 2019, taking down several websites.

Report on Cyber Attacks

  • According to the U.S. global computer security software company McAfee, the month of October 2019 saw the most terrible cyberattacks and cyber scares so far.
    • The cyberthreats varied from malicious malware to restricting ransom wares.
    • Malware like ‘Ghostcat’ infects a user when the user visits a particular website and is served with a malicious advertisement. It collects the device information and eventually leads the user to malicious content. It targets the mobile devices in general.
    • ‘MedusaLocker’ is a ransomware (a type of malware) that makes its way into users’ devices by encrypting files.
    • According to the report, a technique called stenography is used which can hide malicious code inside a file that appears normal and allow hackers to bypass security software and firewalls.

Way Forward

  • Real-time intelligence is required for preventing and containing cyber attacks. To achieve that, India needs to secure its computing environment and Internet of Things (IoT) with current tools, patches, updates and best-known methods in a timely manner.
  • The need of the hour is to develop core skills in cyber-security, data integrity, and data security fields and setting up of stringent cyber-security standards to protect the institutional infrastructure of the country.

Source: TH