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Symantec warns of cold war in the cyber world

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People use computers at an Internet cafe. Some hacker training operations openly recruit thousands of members online and provided them with cyberattack lessons and malicious software. File photo

People use computers at an Internet cafe. Some hacker training operations openly recruit thousands of members online and provided them with cyberattack lessons and malicious software.

Enrique Salem, President and Chief Executive Officer of California-based Symantec Corporation, warns against a cold war of an unusual kind.

In an interaction with The news media last week, Mr. Salem said cyber space was the battlefield for this war, and might prove a huge threat to virtually the whole world.

The spread of the Internet and the move towards virtualisation to reap operational efficiency has seen a rapid growth in cyber storage. From individuals to corporates and Governments – enterprises have increasingly begun storing their data in cyber space. However, data is far from safe here. According to Mr. Salem, there are definite signs that data on the cyber space was under attack from tech-savvy hackers. He asserted that cyber attacks have become increasingly frequent. “Indian companies also are attacked and targeted,’’ Mr. Salem pointed out.

The real challenge lay in finding out ways to protect the ‘crown jewel’. Considered a critical infrastructure data, the ‘crown jewel’ usually would constitute about 10-15 per cent of total data. Discussing a range of issues on the subject, Mr. Salem said cyber attacks came from within and without. With China and India registering robust GDP growth rates, they were vulnerable to data threats from external hackers, he said. To a question, he said there was greater awareness in India on the possibilities of increased attacks on cyber storage.

Driving innovation, putting in place reputation-based securities and moving towards next generation security technology were among the ways by which Symantec would strive to stay ahead of canny hackers and protect attacks on IP (intellectual property) and critical infrastructure data, he said.

In the short-run, the data protection initiatives would revolve around focussing on early warning and putting in place a remediation plan. Also, Symantec would focus on spreading education on best practices in this area, he said. In the medium term, he felt, there was need to design and structure new technologies that would have the ability to protect data and critical infrastructure from newer threats, he pointed out.

In this context, he underscored the need for a coordinated approach to tackle the `new cold war’ which could result in disproportionate damage to the world as a whole. Mr. Salem pointed out that Symantec had just signed a memorandum of understanding with the Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), which was established in 2008 to beef up the cyber defence capability of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). Under the MoU, Symantec had agreed to provide technology and manpower to research online threats.

“It is a research agreement,” he said. Essentially, Symantec would supply CCGCOE of NATO with technology to collect information about attacks. The CCDCOE, based in Tallinn, was established in 2008 following extensive, coordinated denial-of-service attacks against Estonian financial and Governmental organizations. It is an international effort sponsored by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, the Slovak Republic and Spain. Symantec would use a system of remotely-deployable collector nodes to gather cyber-attack data from specific, targeted geographic areas. The collector nodes would make use of Symantec’s existing global intelligence network (GIN), which consists of 240,000 software sensors and its customers’ 120 million desktop, server and gateway antivirus installations. The GIN allows malicious software to be captured and transmitted back to Symantec security response centres for analysis. On the individual customer front, Symantec, he said, would strive to do its best to make the online back-up service cost-effective and full-proof.

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March 2, 2010 Posted by | My Domain | , , , , | Leave a comment

Marja in the biggest offensive of the war in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, February, 2010

Peace Not War

In southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, Thousands of American, Afghan and British troops entered Marja in the biggest offensive of the war, with the goal of destroying the Taliban’s largest haven and restoring government presence in southern Afghanistan. Resistance was sporadic and fierce as troops seized positions around the area. Stricter combat rules and a concerted effort by the Afghan government and NATO forces were aimed at not only protecting the civilian population, but planning for the aftermath, building infrastructure, support and trust in an area long dominated by the Taliban. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan.

A U.S. Marine from Bravo Company of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines fires his weapon at Taliban fighters in Marjah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan on February 22, 2010. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

A man passes a vendor displaying Bollywood videos for sale in the old city February 1, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Despite years of foreign involvement and the money being committed to Afghanistan from both private and governmental donors, Afghanistan is still plagued by chronic unemployment and neglected public services. Unemployment in the country of some 25 million people is still 40 per cent with more than half the population living below the poverty line. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A man collects oranges during a night at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Clouds loom large as Afghan people shop at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Capt. Lena Angell, from Wainwright, Alberta, Canada, part of Canada's Task Force 3-09 Battle Group stands silhouetted at the start of operation Tazi, a village search and security operation in the Dand area of Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan on January 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A U.S. Predator drone flies over the moon above Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. The Pakistani army said Sunday that it was investigating reports that Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud died from injuries sustained in a U.S. drone missile strike in mid-January. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

U.S. Army flight medic Staff Sgt. Robert B. Cowdrey, of La Junta, Colo., right, with Charlie Company, All American Dustoff, evacuates a U.S. Marine wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack, in Marjah, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Saturday Feb. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

A crowd gathers to view the contest in a display of traditional entertainment, as live animals are pitted against each other in Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

US Marines with 1/3 Charlie Company treat a comrade as they wait for a MEDEVAC helicopter, after their MRAP vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Trikh Nawar on the north-eastern outskirts of Marjah late February 23, 2010. Three Improvised Explosive Devices exploded injured three US marines as Charlie Company was clearing a four kilometre stretch of road from Lashkar Gah to Marjah. (PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Janet Baker, the mother of slain Canadian soldier Corporal Joshua Caleb Baker, and family members watch as military pallbearers carry his casket to a waiting hearse during a repatriation ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Trenton February 15, 2010. Corporal Baker of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment was killed and four others were injured in a training accident on a range northeast of Kandahar City, Afghanistan on February 12. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese

U.S. Army Private First Class Danny Comley of Camdenton Missouri, assigned to Delta Company 4th Brigade combat team,2-508, 82nd parachute infantry Regiment, receives flowers from an Afghan girl during a patrol in the Arghandab valley in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan February 24, 2010. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

A military helicopter is seen through razor wire as it comes in to land at Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A soldier reacts with tears on his eyes during a funeral of a Spanish soldier John Felipe Romero Meneses in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. Romero Meneses, 21, who was born in Colombia, was killed and six others were wounded on Monday when a landmine exploded near their vehicle in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

An elderly Afghan man sits outside his farm house as a bird flies nearby in Marjah, in Afghanistan's Helmand province on Thursday Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Project Smile India is a non-profit organization which donates new and previously owned stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys, children’s reading books and blankets, woolen sweaters to give to children in orphanages and elderly in old age homes.

The GOAL of Project Smile India is to provide the continual supply of comfort items to help ease the pain and fear of children in orphanages and spending time conversing, joking and celebrating ( festivals like Diwali, Christmas, Holi & New Year) with elderly in old age homes- the gestures will certainly bring smiles to their faces.

Please help Project Smile India to reach its goal of collecting enough stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys, children’s reading books, blankets and woolen sweaters to give to children in orphanages and elderly in old age homes who can not afford them.

For more information on how you can become a volunteer and help, feel free to contact Founder & Coordinator , Asam Bangia via email at

February 27, 2010 Posted by | War | , , , , | Leave a comment