India, U.S. sign accord to secure their cyber spaces
Wednesday, 20 July 2011, 04:44 Hrs
New Delhi: India and the U.S. signed an accord that will enable them to jointly secure their cyber spaces amid increasing attacks on sensitive records from hostile elements, including terrorists. The accord on cyber security cooperation was signed between the Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT-IN and US-CERT) - the lead agencies in the respective countries to respond to virtual attacks. It enables the two countries to exchange information on cyber strikes, cooperate on technology and exchange information on cyber security policy, capacity building and exchange of experts, according to a joint statement issued after talks between visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. The accord was signed by R. Chandrashekhar, secretary, India Department of Information Technology, and Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The two nations would now be able to form a mutual response to cyber security incidents like in case any sensitive website was hacked or virus by terrorists or other hostile groups attacked. As per the accord, the two countries will now be able to share expertise in artifact analysis like studying traces of virus and worm, network traffic analysis and exchange of information. "The agreement helps fulfill the joint commitment of both nations to advancing global security and countering terrorism," a statement from the US embassy said. Though attacks from hackers - professional or amateur - can come from anywhere in the world, cyber onslaughts on Indian websites have been more frequent from China and Pakistani hackers peeking into India's sensitive business, security and strategic records. The nature of cyber attacks becomes more complex due to rapid changes hackers put in place. A report in the US-based Defence Systems magazine has found that there were 25 million new strains of malware created in 2009. That equals a new strain of malware every 0.79 seconds. The report underlines how the current cyber threat environment is dramatically changing and becoming more challenging as the clock ticks. The CERT-IN functions under the ministry of communications and IT and its primary role is to raise security awareness among India's cyber community and to provide technical assistance and advice them to recover from computer security incidents. The US-CERT is the operational arm of the National Cyber Security Division in the Department of Homeland Security.