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Cyber warfare is grave threat, says General Hooda
July 09, 2018
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NEW DELHI: Cyber warfare is emerging as a grave threat with a potential to wreak havoc in a war situation, but India is not yet prepared to handle it effectively, a former Indian Army general has said.

“We have been alive to the (cyber) threat for some time, but the nature of the threat is expanding quite rapidly. With Internet of Things (IoT) and everything around our life getting interconnected, we suddenly realise the potential of the threat to be enormous. In preparation we are still lacking a bit as the organisational structures that are needed to counter this are not in place,” Lt. General (retd) DS Hooda said.

Hooda, who specialises in the field, said that with critical infrastructure and military installations getting connected through the internet, the threat of cyber attacks was becoming increasingly lethal and that an emerging India was particularly at risk of such attacks.

Calling cyber warfare the “fifth dimension” of war − after land, water, air and space − Hooda said that India was ranked third in terms of facing threats of cyber warfare but was at 23rd position when it comes to preparedness to deal with them.

“Since India is growing economically, diplomatically and politically, people will target us. It’s the weapon of weaker nations against stronger nations. I see no reason why Pakistan would hesitate to use it against us,” said Hooda, who was the architect of the famous surgical strikes against Pakistan in 2016 as the Northern Army Command chief.

He said there had not been enough discussion and debate on the strategic aspect of cyber warfare, otherwise an integrated cyber command would have been in place by now.

But how damaging can a cyber war be? “Well, a lot of people say that so many cyber attacks have already happened yet not a single person has been killed. But I think that has got to do with intentions. In these attacks, so far, the intent was not to do that (kill people), but the capability definitely exists,” Hooda said.

“If you get into infrastructure, for example, related to dams, and you are able to flood some areas, or you get into the command control networks... there is talk that the Americans did get into the North Korean missile programme and managed to do some damage to that. So I think the potential exists for what you can do with it because our lives are so interconnected now,” he said.

Indo-Asian News Service
 

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