Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Growing Risks Of Electronic Communications Sniffing In India

Recent news has revealed that some unknown Pakistani hackers had intercepted an official email communication between J&K Police’s intelligence chief and the J&K Chief Minister. However, it is claimed that the intercepted email did not carry “sensitive information”. As per a senior police officer this is normal as both sides do it.

Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister J&K, has been encouraging use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for government functions. He has been seeking police reports and daily confidential police bulletins through e-mails instead of traditional mailing system.

According to Mr. Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, “Electronic communications sniffing is a very effective mechanism to steal e-mail passwords and confidential information. The same happens if the sniffer is at the same network in case of wired networks or through airwaves if he is targeting the wireless networks”.

To avoid the interception of the email communication by the security agencies, terrorists are not communicating between two email addresses but use a single address with several people knowing the password. The militant then save the document in the draft folder which could be subsequently read by his companions.

Similarly, security agencies are also adopting various methods to keep their e-communications safe and secure. This tussle between the terrorists and security agencies would further increase in the distant future and India should be well prepared to deal with the same.