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Cyber-Risk in India and Pakistan Remains High Despite Pakistani Efforts

India/Pakistan: The risk of disruption from conflict and cyber-attacks to businesses in India and Pakistan remains high currently, despite Pakistan’s efforts to de-escalate the situation.  Pakistan announced yesterday that they intend to release the captured Indian pilot at a border crossing site between India and Pakistan.  Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated that he hoped that returning the pilot would lead to de-escalation.  India is viewing this as a victory but is still preparing for cyber-attacks.  The Indian National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been ordered to enhance its readiness for attacks against Indian government assets as well as the nation’s IT infrastructure.  The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), who is the overseeing agency of the NIC, has given orders for the NIC to increase “surveillance” of India’s IT infrastructure to defend against attacks. India has a notoriously poor track record when it comes to defending against cyber-attacks and this will likely do little to stop any incoming attacks.  What happens next in this conflict will depend greatly on how India moves forward during talks with Pakistan and how they attempt to spin information coming out of the talks.  While the Pakistani government has shown its willingness to talk openly, India has been working to try to make sure that every action is seen as a victory for India.

Analyst Notes

Pro-Pakistani hackers will probably not take this constant spin well, especially if India works to make Pakistan look weak throughout the talks and may use it as motivation to take action against India.