India’s security compromised?

This post is a continuation of the thought presented by Chacko on the post India’s Internet security at Mutiny.

Why do terrorist attack or at least make plans to attack Mumbai so often? May be because Mumbai is the financial capital of our country! The extremists are under the impression that a bomb can pause a city that never sleeps. They wish to halt the booming Indian economy and want to see our stock market crash more often than windows! None of this ever happened even though they ripped through the soul of the city multiple times in a decade.

The recent turn of events in West Asia aka Middle East, though has exposed a chink in India’s armour. The growth of the Indian economy has a direct relation to the booming BPO industry, which is over dependent on the new medium.

Also check this part from Emily Wax’s report on the incident at Washington Post

 “Most of the larger companies know that you have to have multiple layers of the Internet to do business on the world stage. Indian companies have learned their lessons to have backups during past breakdowns,” said Raja Varadarajan, executive vice president of Quatrro, a company that provides technical support to computer users in the United States. “We are talking about millions of dollars and jobs. What we want is to have such a good setup that the only way we find out there was a slowdown is by reading it in the papers the next day.”

Now let me think like a terrorist… I want to hurt the Indian economy… What if I disconnect India from the rest of the world? What if I simply break all those cable passing through India? Wow, that will be fun. They will loose all business links and will loose out billions of dollars in form of losses! WOW that’s fun! Also its easier to carry bombs on open seas than to smuggle them or create them in India! Oh I don’t need bomb all I need is an ship which obviously has an anchor!

Now here is my point. Should we wait for such a terrorist attack or should we create a backup? An internet connectivity with the help of a satellite linking instead of physical optical fibre linking alone? An internet connection which cannot be compromised from forces outside our border?

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26 thoughts on “India’s security compromised?

  1. uh! i tot it was something more serious than that!
    as a personal opinion, i find it too dumb. btw, wats the point. there is no unfound potential threat, and neither a solution.

    and yes, we have all watched die hard 4, and we quite believe it is just fiction, and possible only in fiction for the next 100 years.

  2. well yeah, to put it straight, i think it is dumb cos it is too hypothetical, and yes, i do lose the argument here. but, do u think it is a cause of such initial concern? i quite agree i over reacted in calling it ‘dumb’ initially. clearly, there is a threat when WTC incident can happen..but, this is something out of the blue…….

    whats running in my head is,
    ok, there is a threat, so what now? what do we do?

    and, are we not going towards sat connection? are we not moving in tat direction?

  3. We have been moving towards sat connection for a long time bt not enough to sustain the bandwidth in demand here.. and don’t confuse wireless internet with satellite internet.. wireless internet like wi-max is only wireless within an area.. the wireless signals are caught by regional centre who use cables again!

  4. I’m confused. Firs half of the post talks about terrorism, and then the second half about the internet? What’s the connection? Or…like the recent internet failure in India…there is no connection? 😉

  5. This happened last year too and we were affected partially. But Huawei tech came to a stand still for a couple of days. And I remember wondering about the same as the undersea cables cannot be humanly guarded. What is bugging is that you and me are discussing this while the people who run these services are not even anticipating trouble!! I think a back of everything is necessary today as, terrorists are clearly out to scuttle us.

  6. @Silverine
    Happened last year too? Mey be Jehadi chettans dint hear abt it that time!

    you and me are discussing this while the people who run these services are not even anticipating trouble

    Many of my friends thought I was joking.. so can’t blame the poor underpaid govt officials who have to beg for money (some call it bribe though) to make a living!

  7. Well it was due to tremors and not Jehadi chettans last year 😀

    This time it was some ships anchor that did the damage. Anyways the cables are sitting ducks for terrorists if they want to do some serious damage to Global businesses.

  8. Ya from what I heard the terrorist are looking for ‘creative’ ideas to terrorise the world! May be they wouldn’t want to do something that even a ship lost in storm can do!

  9. Balu, fortunately some of the large companies have multiple gateways (Pacific or Atlantic route) so theres very little chance of the entire thing going down… but still an outage of a major link will make things crawl…and of course result in losses

  10. @Vijay
    Even the pacific link is through sea! So vulnerable!
    We don’t have any land based cables like USA or Europe.. thanks to the history we have with our neighbours

  11. 1. You can not plant a bomb near the coast because they are guarded. So you need to plant the bomb in international waters.You might need a submarine to plant a bomb. You need to build one or hijack one. So its difficult but not impossible.

    2. I guess land based cables are more open to terrorist threats than sea. Thanks to neighbors anyways.

    3.As Vijay has written we have both Pacific or Atlantic route. So little chance that both will come down

    4. The future communications will also happen through sat. So they might not be able to bring down the complete n/w

  12. Forgot… Many big companies can operate from multiple locations( business continuity plan).
    For example: A big bank can operate from multiple locations like blore, hk, nyc, london. The business will not get affected even if one of the node goes down.

    Some of BPOs also might use the same plan..

  13. @Thejesh,
    Thanks for dropping by,
    Is it really necessary to hijack a submarine> Cant they use anchor of a ship instead?


    2. I guess land based cables are more open to terrorist threats than sea. Thanks to neighbors anyways.

    beats me!

    abt satellite internet.. is it possible to provide high bandwidth services using satellites?

  14. Am an engineering student, a computer science one. As far as in know the Optical Fibres have got so much bandwidth at a relative cheap cost that satellite may not be able to complete. Even there is a time lag in the satellites, its less in case of Optical Fibres.

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