Ethical Hacking…

Ethical Hacking
 
Recently ( 6th June 2011) there was an Editorial in FE (Financial Express).Here its is :  

Constant Threat

 

The Financial Express
Monday, Jun 06, 2011  
Hacking is increasingly being viewed as a national level threat, what can India do to protect itself?  Between 2009 and 2010, the number of Web-based attacks have increased by 93%, according to Symantec. And going by the developments in the first half of 2011, this number looks like it’s going to increase. The most high-profile cyber attack in 2011 was the pillaging of Sony’s Playstation Network, in which more than 100 million users saw their confidential information compromised. On May 21, Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s primary arms supplier, said it had detected an attempt to hack into its systems, a serious breach of American security. In fact, cyber attacks have become so numerous and dangerous that the Pentagon said, under certain circumstances, such attacks can constitute an act of war. And they will be dealt with as such.  

This comes after several hacking attempts on the Pentagon and the Lockheed attack. Even the UK is assembling a ‘toolbox’ of cyber weapons to protect itself. The consensus among Internet security experts and those investigating the attacks is that many of them originated in China. Even Google, which suffered two attacks, said that it suspected the perpetrators to be in China.  

India isn’t safe, either. December 2010 saw the CBI’s Website, supposed to be one of the most secure in the country, being hacked by a group from Pakistan. Luckily, the group just left a message, without stealing or damaging anything. One answer, already in practice, is to hire ‘ethical hackers’ to design security systems and find flaws in existing ones.  

According to a study by the National Association of Software and Services Companies, the expected demand of ethical hackers in India by 2012 will be around 1,88,000, as against the 22,000 currently available. It’s time the government looks into trying to match this demand, it already got a scare with the CBI hack.  

Next time it might not escape damage so easily.

It was an inspiring editorial.I responded to it by writing a letter to the Editor : 

Dear Sir,
  
This refers to your highly inspirational Editorial titled :”Constant Threat” (FE 6th June 2011).
Yes,as rightly expressed by you,the threat from web based attacks is a growing menace in modern times and a clear strategy needs to be framed to nip it in the bud and curb it.
Not surprisingly therefore,breaking into computer systems,which once was considered merely a hobby and a pastime for computer experts with criminal minds, has become a full-fledged career-option for net-savvy minds these days.
In recent times, there has been a very alarming rise in cyber-crimes on the internet. E-mail accounts being hacked with regular frequency, stealthily intercepting sensitive industrial and personal data,sending abusive and malicious mails, and business espionage are some of the various forms of crimes that have started affecting us all.
These threats have in turn,increased demand for ethical hackers who can help us not only in testing our security systems and guarding against  computer vulnerability,but also in installing fool-proof and state-of-the-art safe-guards and fire walls etc to prevent such un-ethical practices.
Our main institutions like banks , airlines , hotels , tele-communication companies as well as  IT and ITes sectors,outsourcers,retail trading firms,etc are now rightly seeking services of qualified and experienced ethical hackers to help them check vulnerability of their systems.
Unfortunately,there is a huge demand and supply mis-match.So,it is high time that various IT Companies and our B Schools,think of starting recognized and approved degree courses in Ethical Hacking right away so that the safety of our institutions and our country’s security are not jeopardised by hackers,terrorist outfits and enemy nations.
Hope concerned ministries will pay heed before more serious attacks catch us unawares.We should think of the Boy Scout motto- Be Prepared ! Fore-warned is fore-armed you see !!
 
J S BROCA
NEW DELHI
  
 
Today’s FE (10th June 2011) has published an edited version of my letter as under :

Letters to the editor

The Financial Express
Posted: Friday, Jun 10, 2011  

Ethical hacking

Apropos of the editorial ‘Constant threat’ (FE, June 6), the threat from Web-based attacks has become a growing menace and a clear strategy needs to be framed to nip it in the bud. Not surprisingly, therefore, breaking into computer systems has become a kind of career-option for the Net-savvy. But these threats have increased the demand for ethical hackers who can help in installing safe-guards and fire walls to prevent unethical practices. Unfortunately, there is a huge demand-and-supply mis-match. That needs to be looked into.

JS Broca, New Delhi

To read the article on FE’s website,go to :

http://www.financialexpress.com/news/constant-threat/799678/0

 To read my letter on FE’s website you can go to :

http://www.financialexpress.com/news/letters-to-the-editor/801566/0

 BTW,Ankit Fadia,is a person whose career has impressed me quite a lot.Here is something about him from Wikipedia : 

Ankit Fadia is an independent computer security consultant.He runs a program on computer security for corporates in alliance with Reliance Info.Ankit went to Delhi Public School, R K Puram for school.He started a website called “HackingTruths”.At 15, his book on Ethical Hacking made him the youngest author to be published by Macmillan India.

Fadia has also sponsored Singapore Management University‘s “Ankit Fadia Information Security Award”, which consisted of a $50000 cash prize and Certificate and was given for two years to “an outstanding student” in the Information Security and Trust Course under the Bachelor of Science (Information System Management) degree. 

To read more on him,go to :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankit_Fadia 

Incidentally,his birthdate is : 24th May,1985 ! 

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