Cyber attack: City sees 1,850% jump in hacking cases

New Delhi, July 9 -- Statistics prove that the Capital is on the receiving end of a bitter onslaught in cyber space as the Delhi Police, in particular, and the security establishment, in general, struggle to confront the challenge. While the police face a debilitating manpower crunch in its cyber cells, other security agencies still prefer to view cyber attacks from an obsolete perspective. "In a day and age where American government-sponsored hackers are targeting Iran's nuclear programme and terror outfits such as the Indian Mujahideen (IM) are conducting recruitment drives over the Internet, our security agencies still take weeks to trace creators of fake profiles on Facebook," said a Delhi-based hacker, who wished to remain anonymous. "Just two weeks ago, the official webpage of Delhi University's (DU) English department was hacked by a Pakistan-based group. If you look at official estimates, hacking in India is now done like never before," said another hacker, who is pursuing his engineering from a private college. The hacker's claim, when viewed with arrested Lashkare-Toiba (LeT) commander Syed Zabiuddin Ansari's admission that he was operating nine email accounts post 26/11 attacks, may not be entirely off the mark. According to figures compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), cases of hacking registered an increase of 1,850% - from just two cases in the year 2010 to 39 in 2011. The sheer volume of such cases, registered under Section 66(2) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, seems to make Delhi the most vulnerable Indian city when it comes to cyber attacks. Not even a single case of hacking was registered in other metropolitan cities such as Mumbai and Kolkata or even Chennai and Hyderabad in 2011. "It's about time that the word 'hacking' stopped being a negative term for our security establishment," said Jiten Jain, a cyber security analyst, who wants to bring hackers and security agency officials together at 'The Hackers' Conference' later this month. "There is a tremendous pool of talent, in the form of young hobbyist hackers. Cyber security can't be left to salaried government officials working nineto-five shifts," Jain said.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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