George Smiley had to be called out of retirement to flush out a Soviet mole who had burrowed deep into the British intelligence system, in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John Le Carre’s nail-biting novel on Cold War intrigue.
India now needs to call in some young network security experts to fight a cyberwar.
A new report published on Monday by Canadian experts should make the Indian defence establishment sit up and take notice. The report claims that hackers based in China—though there is little evidence to link them to the Chinese government—broke into our national security databases, and got access to information on important projects such as the Iron Dome missile system and the Project Shakti artillery combat system. This is intolerable.
The Indian government has been in denial mode overall. Experts say India should enact a critical infrastructure protection policy under the Prime Minister’s Office and integrate all islands of networking— defence forces, research labs, universities—so we can have a coordinated response when the hackers strike next.