19/12/2016 10:19 AM IST | Updated 19/12/2016 11:13 AM IST

Government Set To Launch A Botnet Cleaning Centre To Keep Hackers At Bay

The move comes after a sharp rise in high-profile hackings.

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In the wake of the recent spate of hackings of the digital information systems in various government entities, the government is set to launch a botnet cleaning centre. This centre will prevent attacks from malware and will also help people rid their devices of malicious software.

According to a report in the Economic Times, a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) has been working on this project since last year. An investment of 100 crores has already been drawn up to set up the centre.

The team is also working with organisations such as the Reserve Bank of India to minimise the number of phishing websites, which are one of the leading causes of online transactional frauds.

"We will start sharing our feeds with the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) now, so they can communicate it to the users," Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, said. "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."

CERT will work with ISPs to identify IP addresses affected by virus or malware. After the identification, the affected user will be sent an alert informing them of the presence of the malicious software in the device. Users choosing to clean their devices will be redirected to the agency website. The team is also working with anti-virus software companies to get technical help in disinfecting devices.

In a written reply to a query in the Lok Sabha, P.P. Chaudhary, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, said that the malware such as Android Gooligan, Cerber, Android HummingBad,and Ranscam were the leading cause of attacks and frauds in India, besides the skimming at PoS machines.

Recently, hackers who go by the name Legion have hacked Twitter and email accounts of well known personalities such as Rahul Gandhi, Vijay Mallya, and journalists Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar. And, in October this year, 3.2 million debit cards were affected by a hacking attack targeting ATMs in India.