Explained | What is CERT-In?

CERT-In is the national technology arm to combat cyber attacks and guard the Indian cyber space: Photo: CERT-In

Several opposition leaders claimed they received an alert from Apple warning them of “state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise”  their iPhones and alleged hacking by the government.

The government’s cybersecurity agency CERT-In has started its investigation into the issue and a notice has been sent to Apple.

CERT-In is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar had said that the government wants Apple to clarify if its devices are secure and why threat notifications were sent to people in over 150 countries, given the company’s repeated claims about its products being designed for privacy.

iPhone-maker Apple Inc had reacted to the claims of Opposition leaders, saying it is possible that some threat notifications may be false alarms and some attacks may not be detected. It, however, refused to say what triggered warnings received by opposition leaders.

What is CERT-In?

• The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team  (CERT-In) is the national technology arm to combat cyber attacks and guard the Indian cyber space.

• It is a statutory organisation under the ministry of electronics and information technology. 

• CERT-In is operational since January 2004.

CERT-In has been designated under Section 70B of the Information Technology Act, 2000 to serve as the national agency to perform the following functions in the area of cyber security:

i) Collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber security incidents.

ii) Forecast and alerts of cyber security incidents.

iii) Emergency measures for handling cyber security incidents.

iv) Coordination of cyber security incident response activities.

v) Issue guidelines, advisories, vulnerability notes and white papers relating to information security practices, procedures, prevention, response and reporting of cyber incidents.

vi) Such other functions relating to cyber security as may be prescribed.

• CERT-In creates awareness on security issues through dissemination of information on its website (https://www.cert-in.org.in) and operates a 24x7 incidence response help desk. 

• CERT-In provides incident prevention and response services as well as security quality management services.

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