Govt proposes to set up botnet cleaning centre
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New Delhi: Faced with the massive increase in botnet infections across Internet-enabled devices in the country, the government has proposed a botnet cleaning centre at a cost of around Rs.50 crore, as part of the overall national cyber security policy that was released in July last year.
“Cert-in (Indian Computer emergency response team) tracked around 26,000 infected systems in 2007, and over four million infections were tracked so far during the year 2013. The complexity and reach of malware is also increasing with botnets being reported on mobile phone platforms as well,” a note prepared by the communications ministry and Cert-In for the standing finance committee, reviewed by Mint said. The main driver for the increase in the infections has been attributed to the increase in Internet penetration in the country, and the problem could end up damaging the reputation of the Indian information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
A botnet is a collection of Internet-connected programmes communicating with other similar programmes in order to perform tasks like sending spam email or participate in distributed denial-of-service attacks. Essentially a botnet compromises computers and give control to a third party. Infected systems are known to steal sensitive user information including credit card details and passwords that cause financial loss to the users as well as have an adverse impact on the economy as a whole.
The botnet cleaning centre will be created with the cooperation of Internet service providers over a six-month period after receiving necessary approvals.
“We are seeing a lot of action from governments across countries. They are not only increasing awareness about the cyber threats but also trying to get ready the infrastructure needed to counter these attacks. Indian government has also been stepping up its efforts to address these challenges,” said Diwakar Dayal, vice-president, sales, security, Cisco Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd.