New Delhi: Amid relentless attacks by Chinese and Pakistani hackers to break into military personnel’s computers, the Indian Air Force is planning to provide hack-proof laptops to its personnel which would help them prevent cases of cyber espionage. The IAF is taking this step after it was observed that personal computers or laptops used for surfing internet and official assignments, are getting hacked by outsiders as it is relatively very easy to break into such systems.
“The IAF is planning to provide laptops to its personnel for official work which will be internet-disabled to do away with the scope of getting cyber-attacked,” sources told Mail Today.
The laptops would be connected with the Air Force Network (AFNET) which is used for exchange of data and information across the country for which it has laid down a special optical fibre network, they said.
The IAF is moving ahead with this plan at a time when there have been cases where personal computers of officers have been hacked and official information has also been stolen from them.
“All IAF personnel have been told that they should be careful when they are using internet on personal system,they would be taken to task if any official document or information is leaked or stolen in the process. They should not use personal laptops for official work or for storing any work-related data,” the sources said. It would be difficult for the personnel to use the laptops when on leave as the system would connect with the AFNET which works only inside or near air force bases.
Air Force has been taking a number of steps to prevent hackers from stealing classified information and has been the first among the services to arm its personnel with smartphones to protect them from offensives.
These are special smart phones that the IAF is in the process of providing to all its 1.75 lakh personnel, which are hack-proof as they too, can be used only with AFNET.
The phones are equipped with facilities of video calling, but it does not have any other apps like other general smartphones.
The phones also provide end-to-end connectivity at all times and at all air bases-from the world’s highest battlefield Siachen Glacier to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.