Software exports have grown in recent years, and ICT has markedly increased as a percentage of GDP. Thus, IT is crucial to our economic security.

ICT forms a growing percentage of GDP of developed economies, a slightly lower percentage of GDP in emerging economies such as India, China, and Korea, and only a negligible portion of GDP in less-developed nations. With the trend seen in the growth of ICT in India as a percentage of GDP, it is likely to match the rate of developed nations. It is only natural to believe that the Indian economy will become more and more dominated by ICT growth.

The effectiveness of ICT in Indian society is quite visible, and we see that economic thieves are increasingly relying on computers and computer databases. In this regard, disk forensics20 and the laws controlling them are an issue. People who misappropriate funds and launder money maintain all their accounts on computers. Technology is increasingly utilized to trap politicians and political and business opponents. People involved in illegal activities such as betting, economic crimes, and terrorism make use of cellular phones and other technological advancements. Unlike what is witnessed in developed countries, attacks on national networks and the national infrastructure in India are more likely to be politically motivated than motivated by economic gain.

Observation of Internet traffic and intrusion attempts by hackers over a period of time suggests that script kiddies21 are hacking into some of our networks in order to use the bandwidth to launch attacks on others. Script kiddies are also active participants in chat relays, the cauldron for the formation of hacker groups. The expression of anti-Indian sentiments over the Internet is a spillover of this. This is also made easier by the poor maintenance of some Indian Web sites.

In an effort to improve awareness in the country, the first Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) was launched recently. However, we are still faced with the absence of any serious intrusion detection sensors and few or no intrusion prevention methods and policies in India. With the lack of rules and regulations regarding spam, India could have the largest number of spam mails and the most virus-prone computers in the world. This signifies a need for a national agenda to assist the creation of antispamming laws and best practices for Web sites. If such preventive measures were put into practice, most of our security issues would be solved.

Another important aspect is the advancement of technology and the potential for misuse of that technology. Countries such as India and China could use this as a vehicle for their economic development. Processor technology has already become a nanotechnology. Soon we will witness the convergence of silicon technology with nanotechnology and biotechnology, which will be far more disruptive than ICT. It is also predicted that ICT, biotechnologies, and nanotechnologies together could be more perilous than ICT alone. In the future, IT will be one of several critical factors for the economic security of countries like India.

Storage technology has also demonstrated some remarkable changes. On small form-factor disks, it is possible to store 250 gigabytes (GBytes) today. In 10 years the number of gigabytes on a disc has grown 1,000-fold. There has been an equally

20

Disk forensics is the science of extracting forensic information from hard disk images.

21

Script kiddies are relatively unsophisticated computer hackers that look for vulnerabilities in programs through the Internet without understanding those vulnerabilities uncovered by others.



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