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Monday, 14 February, 2000, 17:05 GMT
Indian 'cybercops' to deter hackers

Computer screen Indian companies are concerned about internet security


India's main software industry body is to set up a "cybercop" committee to address security concerns related to the internet.

Announcing the new measure, Dewang Mehta, the president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), said: "We want to provide basic website security services to government or private individuals in an advisory capacity."

The committee will comprise members from the government, the software industry, police and people who know how to hack into computers.

It will meet for the first time on 1 March.

Cause for concern

Mr Mehta said it was originally planned to begin operations in the summer, but "recent attacks on major internet sites like Yahoo prompted us to bring things forward".

Woman at computer Hackers have brought some major websites to a standstill
Last week computer hackers brought a number of popular US websites, including Amazon.com and Datek, to a temporary standstill by flooding their servers with traffic.

Mr Mehta said "we had a lot of calls from worried Indian companies who wanted advice".

Lax security

He said web security was very lax in India, with Indian internet companies spending less than 0.1% of their total expenditure on security, compared with 5% spent by firms in the US.

Nasscom had reports that 121 Indian websites had been attacked in the past year, he said.

Mr Mehta also pointed out that fears about security could prove a good export revenue earner for Indian software companies.

"Firms can look at both domestic and overseas markets for network security products," he said.
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See also:
12 Feb 00 |  Sci/Tech
Special report: The web under attack
08 Feb 00 |  Sci/Tech
Yahoo brought to standstill
14 Feb 00 |  Business
Internet boost for Third World
26 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan fights 'cyber-terrorists'
10 Feb 00 |  Business
US pledges net safety measures
08 Feb 00 |  Sci/Tech
Yahoo attack exposes web weakness

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