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Botnet centre set for launch, to monitor virus-hit devices

news The government’s Computer Emergency Response Team is readying for a soft launch of its botnet centre, which will help people disinfect their devices as part of efforts to protect citizens online.

CERT-In, the national agency that keeps tabs on cyberattacks, has been working since last year on setting up the Rs 100 crore malware analysis and botnet cleaning centre, which will be rolled out on Tuesday. “We will start sharing our feeds with the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) now, so they can they can communicate it to the users.

They are the ones who know the end users. Once ISPs have the systems in place, we will have a full-fledged launch on December 26,” said Ajay Kumar, additional secretary, ministry of electronics and information technology.

The botnet centre will have development arrangements with antivirus vendors and the users choosing to remove the malware will be directed to the CERT-In website, which will let them select the tool they want to clean up their system with.

“We as an agency can identify which IP addresses are infected, because they are shooting out spam or bots. I can tell the ISP that these are the infected addresses.

The ISP knows who this particular address belongs to, and it can help notify the users and ask them to clean their device – whether laptops, desktops or mobile devices,” a CERT-In official had told ET last month on condition of anonymity.

Kumar said the centre will alert people that their system is compromised and they can go to the botnet site, download antivirus and clean their devices. The success of the programme will depend on cooperation among all parties involved, officials said.

Malware has been identified as one of the primary means to compromise and break into devices. A recent CERT advisory pointed out that “skimming” and malware were the two most common threats to transactions carried out at pointof-sale terminals, which are increasingly being used at retail outlets to accept payments.

The government’s push for digital transactions in the wake of demonetisation has raised the issue of cybersecurity as well as better education about possible threats in this regard. Concerns over cybersecurity have taken centre stage in India in the past three weeks ever since a hacker group identified as ‘Legion’ compromised the emails and Twitter accounts of political leaders, journalists and other individuals.

SOURCE: Economic Times

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