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Indian Ministry Pcs Under Attack By Dangerous Virus

A few overseas-based unidentified computer hackers have of late invaded the e-mail account belonging to the Indian ambassador deputed in Uzbekistan which they subsequently used to distribute virus-laced e-mails targeting top individuals at the Indian Home Ministry. The incident reportedly caused a panic in the security department, reports The Times of India on August 16, 2010.

Says the Intelligence Bureau, the purpose of the entire malicious operation was to break into the computer networks of the Home Ministry.

Also as per a circular, the Bureau has informed of several home ministry's officers getting a malevolent e-mail, whose 'from' address showed the id - amb.tashkent@mea.gov.in. The e-mail carried a Trojan virus hidden inside one fraud list that enumerated the names of local Indian terrorists. Confirmed sources that the Trojan was a dangerous software program with which a remote attacker could gain admission into an end-user's PC.

Employed to steal data, pull down or upload content, and intercept keystrokes of the user on an infected PC, the virus has struck against the systems of the Indian government. This is despite the National Informatics Center of GOI deploying a most up-to-date AV program on the official PCs.

However, authorities in-charge of safeguarding the IT network of the ministry said that none of the sensitive data kept on the PCs was compromised hence there'd been no severe damage. Still, according to sources, a detail inspection order had been issued for the systems in the wake of the attempted hack.

Meanwhile, the Bureau has cautioned home ministry's officials to avoid opening any e-mail which tells the recipient that he must install an application. The officials have also been urged not to keep sensitive data inside PCs connected online. Moreover, several procedures have been advised for officials to follow while using PCs installed within the ministry building.

Thus, it has been advised that all PCs at the ministry must be maintained up-to-data all the time with the most recent anti-virus program.

Further, a ministry circular stated that the Computer Storage Media's usage was under adequate control; however, it required ensuring that these devices were properly scanned with AV programs.

Related article: Indian Financial Industry Facing Rising Online Fraud

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