ANI Photo | Need to get ready to deal with new dimensions of security threats like ‘cyber and information warfare’: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi [India], November 10 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday suggested that country needs to get ready to deal with new dimensions of security threats which fall into the category of non-kinetic and non-contact warfare like “cyber and information warfare”.
Speaking at the convocation ceremony at the National Defence College, Singh said “with the changing times and society, the dimensions of security have also changed”.
Till the recent past, the Minister said, security was generally viewed in two aspects– first, internal security and second, external security. Singh said that internal security means the management of security within our borders, and the maintenance of law and order; while external security means the protection of our borders from foreign forces.
Highlighting robust security setup has to be established to deal with emerging challenges, the Minister said,”But as seen from the last few decades, the gap between internal and external security is getting narrower. New dimensions of security threats are emerging, that are becoming increasingly difficult to classify.”
Pointing that terrorism is an example that generally falls in the area of internal security, Singh said at times it comes to light that training, funding, and arms support of such organizations is being done from outside the country.
Incidents of cross-border infiltration and cross-border terrorism are seen, which are classified in the category of external security, said the Minister.
“And now, we are facing such security threats, which fall into the category of non-kinetic and non-contact warfare. Cyber warfare and information warfare are such security threats,” Singh said.
The vulnerability of critical infrastructure to cyber-attacks has become a big concern, said the Minister, adding “critical infrastructure like power generation and distribution is increasingly becoming more complex and reliant on networks of connected devices”.
“Just a few decades ago, power grids and other critical infrastructure operated in isolation. Now they are far more interconnected, both in terms of geography and across sectors.”

The Minister said he was told that in December 2015, the world witnessed the first known power outage caused by a malicious cyber-attack.
“Three utility companies in Ukraine were hit by Black Energy malware, leaving hundreds of thousands of homes without electricity for six hours.”
He said the energy sector is one of the main targets of cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure, but it is not the only one. “Transport, public sector services, telecommunications, and critical manufacturing industries are also vulnerable.”
Our increasingly interconnected financial systems are also at great risk, warned Singh, reminding “you all must be aware that in February 2016, hackers targeted the central bank of Bangladesh and tried to steal 1 billion dollars”.
“While most transactions were blocked, 101 million dollars still disappeared. This was a wake-up call for the finance world that cyber risks in the financial system had been severely underestimated. Today, the assessment that a major cyber-attack poses a threat to financial stability is not a question of if, but when.”
Likewise, Singh said, “information war has the potential to threaten our political stability”.
He also mentioned there is “no account of how much fake news and hate material is likely to be brought in the society through social media platforms”.
“The organised use of social media and other online content generation platforms is being used for engineering the opinion or perspective of the masses.”
Singh said the deployment of information war was most evident in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“Throughout the conflict, social media has served as a battleground for both sides to spread competing narratives about the war and portray the conflict on their own terms. The propaganda campaigns as a means of strategy to shape narratives are by no means new during warfare, but its reach has increased by leaps and bounds due to the shift toward social media as the primary distribution channel.” (ANI)

This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.

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