Experts stress need to acknowledge cyber war

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Cyber war as a source and manifestation of conflicts between nations is yet to be acknowledged and an international framework to address such conflicts has to be evolved quickly. This was the wide outcome of a workshop on cyber war and cyber crimes in the city on Friday.

Speakers at the workshop said the understanding of cyber crime and cyber warfare and their threats, implications and consequences was yet to take root in India. “Take anti-virus for instance. We would much rather buy a pirated version of an anti-virus software, rather than spending money on it. This, at a time when we use our computers to carry out our private communications and financial transactions,” said Talwant Singh, Special Judge, CBI.

“The reason for this,” he said “is because we look at cyber war and cyber crime as things that happen in other countries. We don’t think these things will happen to us, without understanding that it is only a matter of time before they catch up with us.”

Singh also spoke of how cyber warfare between nations was taking place, even in the presence of treaties to prevent wars in the physical world. This, he said, was because the international community is yet to acknowledge cyber warfare as a threat.

Other speakers dwelt on the need to evolve frameworks and ensure they remained relevant. “With more technological advancements and improvements, there will also be some who will use them in negative ways. We need to evolve best practices,” said former Chief Vigilance Commissioner N Vittal.

He underscored the need to keep updating such best practices to remain relevant as technology developed. He also called upon stakeholders to come together and use their combined knowledge to prevent misuse and misunderstandings that could pose a threat to the country and its security.

The workshop, titled ‘Cyber War: Has it Begun?’, was organised by the Cyber Society of India, and featured speakers from a variety of fields, ranging from academia and criminology to media.

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