New Delhi: India is all set to enter into the arena of cyber war. The government is forming an army of software professionals to hack computer systems of hostile nations. According to the proposal by government administrators, IT workers and ethical hackers, who sign up for the project will get protection from law.
The software professionals will have to use their expertise to breach the security walls of enemy systems.
In recent times, India faced a spate of assaults on its computer systems, and the government is worried about spying attempts from neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan. According to the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, a China-based group of hackers had conducted extensive spying operations in India, stealing defence ministry's confidential documents.
The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) along with Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) will be responsible for creating cyber-offensive capabilities, said the government proposal. NTRO uses to gather technical intelligence, while DIA compare inputs from the Navy, Army and Air Force.
Apart from gathering technical intelligence, NTRO will also suggest measures to ensure legal protection to recruits. The move is expected to persuade software professionals into joining the government group as under the Indian IT Act, hacking is punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or carries a fine up to 2 lakh, or both.
According to Vikas Desai, lead technical lead of network security firm RSA, the government's efforts can be classified as ethical hacking, as many countries and organisations in the world have already adopted this infrastructure.
India is due to produce nearly 5.71 lakh technical graduates and postgraduates in 2010. Hence, recruitment may not be a problem, according to Nasscom.