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Business News/ Technology / Russia-Ukraine conflict may increase the risk of cyberattacks for India, warn ex

Russia-Ukraine conflict may increase the risk of cyberattacks for India, warn ex

With malwares being introduced in the wake of Ukraine war, these may find their way into Indian servers

India has to be prepared for a vicious cyberattack. istockphotoPremium
India has to be prepared for a vicious cyberattack. istockphoto


India needs to up its ante against potential cybersecurity attacks in the telecom, infrastructure and banking sectors, warn cybersecurity experts.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also being played out in the cyber world and malwares being introduced, these may eventually find their way into Indian servers or get sold later in the dark web and used against India, the experts said.

“India has to be prepared for a vicious cyberattack," said Pavan Duggal, a Supreme Court advocate and cyber law expert.

“I expect India’s critical infrastructure, banks, telecom network to up their securities in the coming days," he said.

Duggal’s comments come amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has also spurred intense cyber warfare where digital banking services are targeted. Security experts warn that although India may not be a direct target, it could suffer from collateral damage.

“During the state sponsored attacks, it’s likely that new custom based malware/exploits come into play. It’s possible that these thereafter get exploited commercially, hence there is a possibility of cyber collateral impact even if one is not a target of cyber warfare," said Siddharth Vishwanath, cyber leader at PwC.

There could also be a spillover impact where other nations may take advantage of this distraction to test their latest malwares into the vulnerabilities of servers based in India.

“The threat of nation-state intrusions increases even for countries not engulfed in the conflict. The spillover of malware attacks from Russia or Ukraine may not be high but smaller groups or individuals may carry out low intensity attacks," said Suman Kar, chief executive officer of Banbreach, a cybersecurity company specializing in network security, data breach management, and forensics.

Adversities such as covid and the Russian invasion lead to an uptick in cyberattacks and often individual accounts are targeted.

“Given the current scenario, some hackers will work in the shadows attacking those who have a big Internet market base like India. There may be a rise in WiFi hacking and individual accounts will be targeted," said Liad Herman, co-founder and chief executive officer of SafeHouse Tech, an Indo-Israeli cybersecurity enterprise.

However, Supreme Court advocate Duggal said India could also become a specific target soon. “A lot of the hacking community in Ukraine is also not happy with India’s stance. This trend is likely to be replicated in cyber space. Since India has chosen to abstain from voting at the UN, this approach could lead to the hacking community being antagonized," he said.

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Devina Sengupta
Devina tracks and writes on workplaces, human resources and education for Mint. She also occaisionally writes an opinion column. She hosts a podcast on interesting HR trends in corporate India called The Working Life.
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Published: 03 Mar 2022, 01:10 AM IST
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