VIJAYAWADA: Two months have elapsed since the incidents of 'Aadhaar' data leak and breach of private data of the people from the government websites started rocking state, and the IT department is still grappling with resolving the issues.
In the wake of such incidents, cybersecurity researchers pointed out that the state government still does not have a platform on which the vulnerabilities and data breaches could be reported.
When cyber security researcher Kodali Srinivas, who spotted several vulnerabilities in the state government websites and exposed the availability of sensitive public data in the past few months, tried to report the breach of private data on the State-run generic medical stores, Anna Sanjivani, a few days ago, he was surprised that the state government still has not developed a platform to address the issues.
"It has been two months since the state officials made tall claims that those who helped them in plugging the vulnerabilities would be rewarded. But there is no way to report the issues. Even the highly-publicised Andhra Pradesh Cyber Security Operations Centre (APCSOC) does not have a website of its own," he explained.
He added that he reported the free availability of private data of the public on Anna Sanjivini website to Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), which had immediately responded. Having a dedicated platform for the purpose of raising cyber security-related issues would result in faster rectification whenever there are issues, the experts added.
However, it is learnt that the IT department is in the process of designing a special system to address the issue. Speaking to TNIE, the managing director (MD) of Andhra Pradesh Technology Services Ltd (APTSL), V Premchand, explained, "We are designing a special portal called Andhra Pradesh Computer Response Team (APCRT) to immediately respond whenever there are issues related to cyber security and breach of private data.
Anybody who spots discrepancies can reach out to us using APCRT. It will shortly be launched." Once launched, the MD added, AP would become the first state in the country to have such a portal. The APTSL is the nodal agency for e-governance initiatives and also the organisation looking after the APCSOC.Premchand further explained that the APCRT would also have a call centre with ten phone lines, which could be contacted during cyber emergencies. "The APCRT will not only be an agency to respond to cyber security issues, it will also send advisories to general public on how to secure their electronic gadgets and how to be insulated to cyber attacks," he observed.-EoM-