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IT ministry asks Twitter to reinforce security

December 14, 2016 08:40 IST

'If there are any incidents of cyberattacks, they should immediately inform CERT.'
Karan Choudhury/Business Standard reports from New Delhi.

IT ministry asks Twitter to reinforce securityAfter a series of hacks on Twitter accounts including embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, the official account of Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and a few senior journalists, the ministry of electronics and information technology has asked the social media portal to 'strengthen security.'

"We have told Twitter so. If there are any incidents of cyberattacks, they should immediately inform CERT," said Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) is the nodal agency under the ministry that handles and counters cyberattacks. Twitter was unavailable for comment.

Sources said the police and CERT sleuths were looking into the matter and asked for details of hacked accounts.

According to sources, Rahul Gandhi's office is yet to give details of his account.

With digitisation being the key word after demonetisation, the ministry says it is putting a cyber security apparatus at each level to prevent hacks.

It plans to undertake a comprehensive review of the Information Technology Act.

"The Act came into being in 2000. It has, by and large, served us well. Now, as we move towards a digital economy, we are reviewing if there is a need to relook at its architecture, to make it more deterrent for cyber criminals," Prasad said.

The ministry has already set up a small group of officials under IT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

Minister for Communications Manoj Sinha recemtly told Parliament the IT Act had a legal framework for privacy and security of data in digital format.

Besides providing compensation to a victim in an unauthorised access and leakage of sensitive personal information.

The government has formed two teams in CERT-In, one to respond to cyber-attacks and the other to monitor digital payments, which has, in the past one month, seen a 1,000 per cent surge.

The ministry has till date issued 8 advisories on usage of different types of digital payments.

"All digital payments agencies have been asked to report to CERT-In any unusual activity on their platforms," the minister said.

"We are taking several measures to ensure a resilient system. We will audit the IT infra of NPCI (the National Payments Corporation of India) and have formed crack teams at CERT-In for immediate response," the minister added.

"CITOs (chief IT officers) have been appointed in every ministry and government department. We are undertaking a massive programme to create awareness among the administrative machinery," the minister said.

To strengthen cyber security, the ministry has approved 26 new posts in CERT-In and 5 state CERTs.

Karan Chowdhury