Though the government has reassured that operations and administration were not affected, the threat has shadowed India’s most secure plants as well.
After the Kudankulam nuclear plant was jolted by a cyberattack recently, the Narendra Modi-led government has assured that the nuclear plants in the country are completely safe and the mantra of ‘safety first and production later’ is religiously followed. However, in more than 3 lakh cyberattacks that hit India this year, Kudankulam nuclear plant was an eye-opener incident, where North Korea was allegedly involved in stealing India’s nuclear technology. Though the government has reassured that operations and administration were not affected, the threat has shadowed India’s most secure plants as well.
“Plant control and instrumentation system are not connected to any external network such as Intranet, Internet and administrative system and thus was not affected. In respect of further strengthening of Information Security in administrative networks, various measures have been taken,” Jitendra Singh, MoS, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and PM’s Office said in a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
On the back of the cyberattack, investigations were carried out by the Computer & Information Security Advisory Group (CISAG) of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) along with the national agency, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). To further strengthen the Information Security in the administrative network after the incident, various measures have been taken such as hardening of internet and administrative intranet connectivity, restriction on removable media, blocking of websites and IPs, which have been identified with malicious activity.
Cybersecurity incidents including phishing, network scanning and probing, viruses and website hacking, stood at around 50,000 in 2016, which has skyrocketed to over 3 lakh in the first ten months of the current year.
“In tune with the dynamic nature of Information Technology and emerging cyber threats, continuous efforts are required to be made by owners to protect networks by way of hardening and deploying appropriate security controls,” Sanjay Dhotre, MoS, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha.