The National Informatics Centre, which performs several crucial technology and networking duties for the government, was the victim of a cyberattack early this month, The Print reported on Thursday. The NIC provides services for the government like email, video-conferencing, website hosting, and even enables internet access for universities and some government agencies.
Over a hundred of NIC’s computers are said to have been impacted by a malicious link that was sent over email. Investigations into the hack were reportedly started after an employee of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) was unable to access their email. An investigation is said to have found that several other computers were compromised as well. We have reached out to MEITY for comment.
NIC is a nerve centre for the government’s technology infrastructure, and no details of any compromise of its systems have been made public by MEITY in the several days following the alleged hack. It is therefore unclear what the ramifications of the compromise are, or even what kind of compromise it was. Delhi Police reportedly linked the malicious links to a Bangalore-based firm.
Research by the Centre for Internet & Society has shown that for much of the preceding decade, MEITY’s cybersecurity budget has largely remained the same. PwC estimated that the government’s overall spending in the cybersecurity market would reach US$581 million by 2022. In 2017, MEITY had recommended that all ministries spend 10% of their budget on cybersecurity.