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    Posted May 28, 2014 by
    ArshadAhmed
    Location
    Islamabad, Pakistan
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Tech talk

    CyberWar and Pakistani Government's mismanagement By Mansab Chaudhry

     
    In 21st Century, people are living two lives in two entirely distinct worlds. One is real world while the other one is virtual word, in which we have different lives and different identities. This world is beyond all geographical barriers and physical distance. This world keeps us connected to the other of our kind in order to communicate, to share ideas, and to know about each other. This is not all of it. Highly sophisticated communication involving military and commercial information and sensitive data is making us virtual today.

    Today, countries in all around the world entirely rely upon networking and information technology for civil, commercial, and strategic purposes. The fact has made the virtual world more important as well as more critical than the real world we used to live in before. Like real world, the virtual world has now become the center of interests. Some of which are legitimate but most of them are motivated by illegitimate purposes. Cannons of the territorial as well as international law does not apply in the virtual world. Absence of geographical boundaries further makes it accessible to almost everyone, with an internet enable device on the surface of earth. Ubiquity and universality makes virtual world profitable at the same time by making it more vulnerable to cyber attackers.

    Cyber warfare is relatively a new generation warfare in which state sponsored actors infiltrate, breach, or spy on the military and sensitive information of rival nation. Hardly a day passes when we do not hear cyber attacks compromising civil, intellectual,, and strategic assets. In simple words, world is into fighting a cyber war, these days.

    The term cyber got global fame when US security contractor, Edward Snowden exposed the tyranny virtual regime established by US security agency named "National Security Agency" NSA. When NSA's covert activities were exposed, the world realized how volatile the virtual world is for the nefarious intentions and for Prying eyes. In a bid to secure national interests NSA spied on and trapped, it revealed thousands of communication networks around the world. Both commoners and nobles were equally targeted and victimized. Privacy pirated and secrecy was ridiculed. This Next generation cold war continued for years without people and nations realizing and detecting it.

    Although, for a moment relationships between the worlds became strained, yet everything was soon justified. The world took it for granted that cyber security is just an illusion and nothing on net is secure.Situation in Pakistan is same as elsewhere when it comes to cyberspace. The only exception is unlike India, U.S, and China. Pakistan so far has not taken the Cyber security very seriously. There is no state sponsored entity to safeguard its Cyber space, No Cert, and No check and balance.

    The truth become apparent when Indian hackers broke into some high profile web servers of Pakistan back in 2010. They Installed backdoors on important Pakistan web servers to direct the sensitive information to hackers computers. Cyber Security analysts were skeptical whether these attacks were state sponsored. The doubt, however was soon vindicated by the statement of Indian Naval Chief Admiral Suresh Mehta in which he said, "The Indian Armed Forces are increasingly investing in networked operations, both singly and in joint fashion. We cannot afford to be vulnerable to cyber attacks. Information Technology is our country is well-known strength and it would be in our interest to leverage this strength in developing a formidable offensive and defensive Cyber war capability. Harnessing the gene pool available in academia, private industry and the younger generation of talented individuals is imperative, and still the authorities from our side remain serene about our cyber security. However, unlike the government, the "talented individuals" of our country are self-conscious of our cyber security and of our national interests. Working in independent groups, Pakistani hackers have been protecting our cyber space and retaliating to the attacks launched against our cyber territory for years.

    Especially whenever Indian Hackers target our cyber space, Pakistani Hackers not only restore a number of website but also retaliate to Indians, Most active defender in 2014 are Pak Hax0rs Crew , AnonGhost , The Hackers Army , Pak Cyber Squad , and Pak Cyber Eagles .

    Mostly all Pakistani hackers join hands to target Indian Cyber Space including thousands of Indian websites and servers as a payback. Sadly, unlike India, China, and U.S, these talented heroes have no state support from government of Pakistan.

    Besides defacing Indian Cyber, Espionage mission has also been badly exposed when Indian malware "RAMU KaKa" was detected in 2013, which was affecting Pakistan Computers at massive level. "Ramu Kaka" was also able to send data back to main C&C server via a number of DNS, where Indian state sponsored elements were monitoring the data.

    Today, every country have its own CERT, Sadly Pakistan have done nothing in this regard. This is the major reason why cyber crime in Pakistan has been increasing every day. Moreover, there is little or no check and balance over what is going on internet. In the absence of CERT, nothing in our Cyber space can be termed as secure. It is high time that the government should realize its responsibility. Apart from government contribution, to secure our cyber space, it is also our responsibility, as citizens of Pakistan to create awareness about internet security among people. We should tell people how crucial it is to be safe on internet. Government, social organizations, and IT professionals should inform people about cyber crime and the advance tactics the criminals use on internet today to rob their intellectual properties. It may be difficult but in the long run, it is the only effective and most comprehensive way to safeguard our nation and its interests on internet.

    Additionally, although Government of Pakistan has launched 3G & 4G technology in Pakistan, it has not yet devised any National Security Strategy to provide the people with necessary Cyber Security in post-mobile scenario. Improved connectivity will attract new users and will promote internet communities. At same time, it will also bring the national security at stake, as more users with little awareness about cyber security will be an easy prey for cyber criminals, which may access their Credit cards, Bank Accounts, Emails, and other financial information. They will be easily exploited by the Hackers, who seek fortune by using different tactics on the internet. Therefore, there is an unavoidable need of online safety and privacy among masses of this tech savvy era.

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