NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — Alarmed by the hacker group Legion's claim that it had access to several gigabytes of confidential and sensitive banking data, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has kicked off emergency measures to toughen cyber security firewalls. There will be an immediate cybersecurity audit of the financial sector, a review of the IT Act and recruiting of a crack team to detect and respond to imminent threats.
As the demonetization drive has forced a swift progression to digital transactions, the government has asked all payment gateways and e-wallet firms to immediately report any hint of fraud to the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payments system in India.
"The IT Act came out in 2000. It has by and large served us well…Now, as we move towards digital economy, we are reviewing if the need to relook its architecture to make it more of a deterrent for cyber criminals," IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
In an online interview to Factor Daily, a 'Legion' group member said, "we have confidential data pertaining to NPCI hub servers, and even the encryption keys/ certificates used by some banks in India (not disclosed). So, theoretically, we could generate ‘fraudulent' financial messages! Does that make #DigitalIndiasafe? Maybe Modi should think all of this through before launching it."
In another interview to the Economic Times, the hackers claimed, "Let me tell you…the banking system of India is deeply flawed and has been hacked several times."
Legion first made headlines in India after it claimed to have hacked leading politician Rahul Gandhi's twitter and email accounts. The group also made public the dumps of e-mail accounts belonging to the Indian National Congress, Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, journalists Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar of the NDTV TV channel.
The group has claimed that they did not have a purpose behind the hacking but their next dump would be emails sent and received through a domain commanded by the Indian legislature and used by Parliamentarians.
"We don't have a purpose. We just expose people that pop up as potentially interesting…Next is a dump ofsansad.nic.in emails which is — quite big. It includes a lot of BIG FISH."
India's cyberpolice has traced IP addresses from five countries — Sweden, Romania, the United States, Canada and Thailand — when Rahul Gandhi's accounts were hacked.
"We have got the IP logs from Twitter. The details of IP logs were sent to the internet service providers in five countries after a thorough examination. We are yet to get the details of hacker's account and address," said Anyesh Roy, Delhi's Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell) in a media briefing.