BRO gets more financial powers
To improve the functioning of BRO and speed up works
Defence Ministry has delegated admin and financial powers up to level of Chief Engineer and task force commander
BRO, engaged in road construction to provide connectivity to difficult and inaccessible regions, was brought under the control of the Defence Ministry in 2015.
Completion of strategic border roads has been delayed as was highlighted on various occasions by CAG and PSC
Borders more secure now, no scope for infiltration: Rajnath
Singh said country’s borders were “more secure” than at any time in the past and there was no scope for infiltration.
‘Borders have never been so vulnerable since 1971 war’
Parliamentary panel on home affairs has said
The persistent ceasefire violations along the Pakistan border are affecting the border population and today the “country seems to have internal refugees and migrants.”
Check radicalisation in Northeast: Rajnath Singh
Rajnath Singh: religious radicalisation was a serious security threat.
Radicalisation is a transnational phenomenon. If we can’t check it, it will turn into terrorism, he said
He said some agents are operating in the name of NGOs or religion in the northeast posed a threat.
Concern over tunnels discovered along the Bangladesh border in Meghalaya and WB
Abduction and extortion were rampant in NE, but prosecution and conviction rate was less than 1%
‘Ready to rehabilitate Naga rebels’
A day after the death of NSCN(K) chairman Khaplang, Centre said all Indian citizens in the Naga rebel group would be rehabilitated if they abjured violence.
Khaplang was the “the heart and soul” of the NSCN(K) and without him, the organisation would be in a disarray.
He formed his own outfit in 1988 after he fell out with Isak and Muivah, the other two Naga leaders, who went on to form the NSCN-IM, which signed a framework agreement with the government in 2015
Naga outfits envisage a “Greater Nagalim” or a contiguous land for the Nagas spanning Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Myanmar.
In 2015, the NDA government banned the outfit for five years for its involvement in attacks on security forces
Panel to study free movement regime along Myanmar border
Committee headed by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary-Internal Security to “examine the present rules and regulations of FMR to curb its misuse.
Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) chief R.N. Ravi suggested changing the “misnomer” related to “free border movement” and asked the government to replicate the model prevalent in villages and areas along Bangladesh
The report suggested dedicated crossing points in border villages, where policemen would be made in charge of regulating the movement of people.
Is a Border Fence an Absolute Essential along the India-Myanmar Border?
The construction of border fence by Myanmar has led to resentment among the people on both sides
The affected people mainly are Konyak, Nagas in Nagaland and Naga Self Administered Zone (NSAZ) in Myanmar having close family-cultural-economic exchanges.
People own land holdings including cultivated lands and forested areas across the border
Sizeable number of students from NSAZ study in schools on the Indian side of the border.
The formation of Myanmar as a separate State in 1935 and decolonisation of the sub-continent in 1947 divided ethnic communities living along the Indo-Myanmar border. These communities found the newly created boundary to be inconsistent with the traditional limits of the region they inhabited.
To address their concerns and enable greater interaction among them, the Indian and Myanmarese governments established FMR, which allowed Nagas to travel 16km across border on either side without visa
FMR has been misused by locals to smuggle contraband, by Militant groups for moving cadres
NSCN-K maintains its camps and training bases in NSAZ.
China has also been reportedly aiding some of these groups.
India and Myanmar share an unfenced border of 1,643 km.
Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram are the 4 states, which have border with Myanmar.
1967 Boundary agreement has not crystallized on the ground.
Infrastructural facilities at Moreh and Zokhawatar – the two designated points for trade- is poor.
Land customs station lack screening and detection machines, communication devices, banking facilities, warehouses, parking and quarantine facilities.
India may ask Myanmar to end ceasefire with NSCN(K)
Myanmar Army has denied the existence of any insurgent camps on its territory.
The insurgent groups have formed a network on both sides of the border, to smuggle arms
We need an assurance that the Myanmar government would destroy these camps.
Started way back in 1918 by the Naga Club asserting a distinct ethnic identity and demanding an independent homeland of Greater Nagalim
NSCN-K opposed the Shillong Accord of 1975 signed by the then Naga National Council with GOI
Split into two factions namely the NSCN (K) led by SS Khaplang, NSCN (IM) led by Isak and Muivah in 1988.
Naga Peace Accord of 2015 framework agreement was signed between NSCN (IM) and GOI
The leadership of NSCN (IM) has accepted to alter goals from complete sovereignty.
Framework for grant of greater autonomy to the Naga inhabited areas outside of Nagaland through the establishment of autonomous district councils.
Likely adoption of Non-territorial framework would safeguard the culture, history and autonomy; allay the apprehensions of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur.
India to deport all Rohingyas: Rijiju
All 40,000 Rohingya living in India are illegal immigrants, even those registered with the UN refugee agency, and the government aims to deport them
Infiltration & burden on the limited resources of the country aggravates the security challenges
India’s decision is in step with the government’s decision to “disassociate itself” from a UNHRC resolution in March this year proposed by EU and USA to enquire into human rights abuses in Myanmar
UNHCR has issued identity cards to 16,500 Rohingyas in India that it says help them “prevent harassment, arbitrary arrests, detention and deportation
Rijiju said that the UNHCR registration was irrelevant as we are not signatory to the accord on refugees
UNHCR said principle of non-refoulement, or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger, was considered international law and binding on all States, whether they had signed 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol or not.
Rohingyas are denied citizenship in Myanmar and classified as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots there that go back centuries, with communities marginalised and occasionally subjected to communal violence.
Rohingyas have fled from Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, to Bangladesh, India,SEA
India was in talks with Bangladesh and Myanmar about the deportation plan. But deportation is likely to be difficult, given Myanmar’s position
Human rights activists questioned the practicality of expelling thousands of people scattered across the country.
NHRC issued a notice to MHA over the planned deportation by setting up “detention centres”
NHRC highlighted SC decisions that say the Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 apply to all, irrespective of their citizenship.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called upon India to “abide by international legal obligations”
Govt. junks border wall plan
Centre has given up its proposal to build a wall along the Pakistan border in Jammu
The wall proposal was opposed by Pakistan, which shot off letters to UNSC in 2015 accusing India of converting what it called a “working boundary” into a “quasi international boundary.”
Army too opposed embankment, saying it would pose hurdles for their forward movement during military operations.
IB is densely populated and has fertile agrarian land. Not many people were willing to let go of their land.
The existing fence called Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) is located about 700m from LoC.
The double-row fence consisting of concertina wire was constructed between 2003 and 2005.
PROBS: High degradation due to snow, has to be repaired after every season which costs about Rs. 50-60 crore, infiltrators have devised ways to cross it.
MHA is now working on a Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System for 24X7 surveillance where an integrated system of human resources, smart fence (a seamless virtual fence with sensors), networks, intelligence-command-control solutions are being worked upon
The project would be implemented by the Army Corps of Engineers
Slow progress in roads along China border: CAG
In a strategic blunder after 1962, the government decided not to develop its infrastructure along the China border reasoning that they could be used by the Chinese forces to make quick inroads.
In 2007, the government decided to aggressively develop infrastructure along the border with China
Of the 61 India-China Border Roads scheduled to be completed by 2012, only 22 had been completed
Manipur drug-makers prove elusive for police
Manipur, which is contiguous with Myanmar and falls in golden triangle, is a fertile ground for poppy cultivation.
The poppy-growing season does not clash with paddy crop. And the income from poppy is huge
Anti-narcotics department is understaffed and has to work by the book. They cannot destroy vast cultivations
Presence of mobile drug labs producing opium, brown sugar and heroin.
Assam Rifles manning the 358 km long Manipur-Myanmar border stepped up vigilance against militants.
Arms haul in border village causes concern
MHA is understood to have taken note of the seizure of an AK 47 and an M-16 rifle from a house in Nagaland
International gunrunners are believed to be operating along Manipur-Myanmar border
BSF were replaced some years ago by the Assam Rifles trained in counter-insurgency operations.
There have been ambushes in Chandel district in which several Army men have lost their lives.
Nepal route shut for former militants
Centre has scrapped a proposal made by the previous government in JK to legalise the Nepal route to enable the return of former militants from Pakistan.
In 2010, the then J&K government announced a rehabilitation policy for former Kashmiri militants, who had crossed over to Pakistan from 1989 to 2009.
Since the former militants reach Nepal on a fake passport and fake documents, we cannot allow them into India.
Since they cannot be deported, they are taken into custody.
The official said that since India and Nepal have a no-visa regime, the route could be misused.
India team helps IBM create technology to battle hackers
Would allow enterprises from banks to health care to encrypt their customer data at a large scale.
Possible for the first time to ‘pervasively encrypt’ every level of a network, application, cloud and database
This has been made possible by IBM Z (z14), a next-generation mainframe
Indian team had made significant contributions to the z14 system, microprocessor, encryption unit
Known as ‘big iron’, a mainframe is a high-performance computer used primarily by large organisations for applications such as credit card payments, flight bookings and ATM transactions.
Be safe in cyberspace
As more people take increasingly to digital payment modes, the number of frauds in this space is also increasing.
Net banking and card identity theft is the most prevalent fraud.
3 ways: fraudulent calls, card reading instruments, malware attacks on computer
Fraud sites: Avoid clicking on links from e-mails or from any website to access a bank or any financial institution. Instead, type the website address manually every time. Ensure you have a good antivirus solution.
India launches cyber swachchta kendra
As part of DI, MEITY launched CSK–Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre
Systems will be scanned by CERT-in for free of all those users who register to the CSK website.
It will then notify, enable cleaning and secure systems of end-users to prevent further infections
There is a lack of IT skilled manpower and also the local police is unaware of various provisions of IT Act, 2000
Botnet is a network of computers infected with malware without the user's knowledge to send spam emails, transmit viruses and engage in other acts of cybercrime.
ASSOCHAM : In India, there has been a surge of about 350% in cybercrime cases registered
NCIIPC is yet to identify and implement measures to protect “critical information infrastructure”.
CERT-In is woefully understaffed.
The private sector is equally culpable in its failure to report breaches.
NIC email servers are often blamed for their poor security, but most Indian companies that rely on Gmail for official communication also do not make 2FA mandatory for its employees
Steps: National Cyber security policy 2013, NCIIPC, sectoral CERTs
National Watch and Alert System - CERT-In team is working 24/7 and scanning the cyber space in the country.
Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA)
India may consider acceding to Budapest convention which is the only multilateral treaty on cyber security that addresses Internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws
GOI expert group recommended setting up Indian cyber crime coordination centre (I4C) for interagency coordination.
Ground zero summit - The theme for the Summit - Digital India – ‘Securing Digital India’
Currently, the only source of international guidelines on “cyber warfare” is the Tallinn Manual, a document that was put together by Western experts under the aegis of NATO.
Similar to WannaCry, one of the means by which Petya spread was by exploiting the MS12-010 vulnerability, also known as EternalBlue. Microsoft had issued a security patch to fix it in March.
WannaCry’s damage was quickly minimised due to sloppy coding. Petya appears to be a much more professional
Make sure Microsoft Windows and all third party softwares are updated, Apply the MS17-010 bulletin, Don't open attachments in unsolicited e-mails, Maintain updated Antivirus, Ensure the web browsers are secured
Report such instances to CERT-In and Law Enforcement agencies.
India worst hit in APAC by Petya: Symantec
India has been worst hit country in Asia Pacific and 7TH most impacted worldwide by Petya ransomware
Petya not only encrypts files, it locks the entire disk, making it basically unusable until the infection is removed.
It shuts down the system after the infection and asks for ransom of $300 in bitcoins on rebooting.
In India JNPT & Pipavav Port were impacted.
Infected computers in 150 countries, ex National Health Service of U.K.
Origin: tool developed by NSA in the U.S. that was dumped online by a group called the Shadow Brokers.
EternalBlue exploit of Windows that the malware uses to spread has been known for some time.
The cyber-attackers used it to remotely gain access to computers to encrypt hard disk drive and then spreads laterally between computers on the same LAN without user interaction
The ransomware also spreads through malicious attachments in emails.
Ransomware: attackers demand a ransom, in Bitcoins which are tougher to trace, to decrypt the files
Its spread has exposed the lack of preparedness among government and private institutions.
British researcher registered a domain name hidden in the malware, thereby accidentally stopping its spread
IT Ministry reached out to key stakeholders like RBI, NPCI, NIC and UIDAI to advise them
Government had issued an advisory in March, and informed administrators about Microsoft’s “software patch” to be used against a possible attack.
Barring “isolated incidents” in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, there had been no major impact in India.
Cyber response unit to be set up, says Reserve Bank
Sub-Committee of FSDC discussed the setting up of CERT-Fin for Financial Sector, National Centre for Financial Education (NCFE) and macro-prudential framework in India
RBI had already created a specialised cell (C-SITE) to conduct examination of banks’ cybersecurity preparedness
New playground for non-state actors
Terrorism is becoming asymmetric by the day as new terrorist groups emerge, greater sophistication in the means to perpetuate terror, ‘direct to home jihad’, ‘lone wolf’ syndrome.
Radicalisation & recruitment via the Internet has attained a whole new dimension.
Internet-enabled terror involves violence conceived and guided by “controllers” thousands of miles away.
Visa restrictions and airport security mean little to attackers, since they strike where they live and no longer travel
Some like the IS are said to be also preparing to use the ‘deep web’ and ‘dark net’. The ‘dark net’, in particular, could become a vicious instrument in the hands of terrorist groups such as the IS.
Reliance Jio admits to systems breach
Leak of user data, unlawful access to its systems
India has inadequate data protection laws that do not mandate companies or agencies to notify clients if their personal data has been breached.
The case was registered under Section 66 of Information Technology Act, which deals with any unauthorized access to a computer network, and Section 379 of IPC, which deals with theft.
Cyberattack link to glitches in RJio, Airtel outage, NSE under probe
In 2016, security codes of around 32 lakh debit cards were breached and several users reported unauthorised transactions from locations in China.
Events like this have prompted the government to have a customised cyber security policy for each ministry
Home Ministry official said about two years ago various telecom giants had been sensitised about the vulnerability of equipment and products imported from China. Both Airtel and Jio use Chinese equipment
RBI circular: Who bears the brunt in online banking fraud?
Under the new rules, the burden of proving customer liability in case of unauthorised electronic banking transactions shall lie with the bank.
RBI has categorised unauthorised electronic banking transactions into three categories.
First, third-party breach where the deficiency lies neither with the bank nor with the customer. Extent of loss that the customer has to bear is determined by the time period within which he reports the unauthorised transaction, after receiving the communication from the bank.
Second, contributory fraud or negligence or deficiency on the part of the bank. In such cases, the customer will have zero liability, irrespective of whether or not the transaction is reported by the customer.
Third, negligence by a customer such as say, sharing payment credentials, the customer has to bear the entire loss until he reports the unauthorised transaction to the bank. Loss after reporting shall be borne by the bank. Bank has the discretion to waive off customer liability.
Banks have to ask their customers to mandatorily register for SMS alerts and, wherever available, for e-mail alerts for electronic transactions. If you don’t provide mobile numbers to the bank, you will not be allowed electronic transactions facility except ATM cash withdrawal.
Cyber security in banks: debit card data theft issue:
19 banks faced a series of data theft in last 6 months. It is the biggest debit card fraud in Indian history.
NPCI found a malware-induced security breach in the systems of hitachi payment services, which provides ATM, POS and other services in India.
RBI issued instructions on a cyber security framework in banks, asking them to put in place a board-approved cyber policy, crisis management plan and continuous surveillance.
INDIA TAKES STEPS TO BOOST CYBER SECURITY:
All organizations having a significant IT infrastructure will need to appoint cyber security officers.
State Certs in Maharashtra, TN, Telangana, Kerala and Jharkhand are being planned.
Three new sectoral Certs in power sector -- generation, transmission and distribution, have been set up
Maharashtra has become first state in the country to have a cyber-police station in each district simultaneously.