Vol. III, Issue 2

Vol. III, Issue 2

Date: March 03, 2022

India is one of the top five targets for cyber-attacks in the Asia Pacific region, primarily dominated by collusive attacks from Pakistan and China. The ‘Long-Term Plan for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (2017-2030)’ that emphasises digital collaboration also extends to collusive cyber activities.

India banned 54 Chinese apps during the month, on grounds of national security, for illegally transferring data of its citizens to foreign servers. A total of 224 Chinese apps have so been banned, since the initial ban in June 2020.

Amid major concerns expressed by industry and privacy experts that it fails to sufficiently provide a data breach prevention and management framework, the Data Protection Bill 2021, finalised by the Joint Parliamentary Committee after extensive deliberations, is going to get a fresh look. The government is also planning to regulate data breach notifications by private players.

5G networks are likely to be rolled out by private players on August 15, so long as several pending issues pertaining to spectrum, technology and infrastructures can be streamlined. In the semiconductor space, India is looking to establish two greenfield fabs and two display fabs in the country.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which commenced on February 24, was preceded by cyber-attacks.  Several websites of the Ukrainian government, army and major banks were affected by DDOS and data wiper attacks. But so far, these attacks have not been able to make any visible strategic impact on the conduct of the war.

Ukraine, which does not have a military cyber unit, has raised a voluntary “IT Army” to help protect critical infrastructure and conduct cyber espionage missions against Russian troops inside Ukraine. The “IT Army” supported by “Anonymous” activist groups have reportedly brought down or defaced several major Russian government and media websites. Several cybersecurity companies have also offered free tools and services to Ukraine. Starlink satellites of SpaceX have been activated to keep Ukraine online in case of terrestrial disruptions to its internet.

Cyberattacks have prompted Russia’s National Coordination Centre for Computer Incidents to issue warnings to protect Russian critical information infrastructure and other information resources. Russia has also imposed restrictions on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

There has been a ransomware attack on the German oil and gas sector. Security agencies in the US and the UK have warned of cyber espionage operations by an advanced persistent threat (APT) actor, believed to be linked to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
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Chinese researchers working on 6G technology have claimed a new record for data streaming speed by sending 1 terabyte of data over 1 km (3,300 feet) in a second.
Indian companies are joining global consortiums for undersea cables, that serve as the strategic backbone for global internet connectivity.