It is the need of the hour for India to develop dettereance in Cyber Domain. Though this is a highly classified domain, armed forces and intelligences agencies in close cooperation must develop these capabilities.
These should be tested in peace time so that they can be employed during War. Some of the R& D projects as part of capability development may be:-
• How do you penetrate advisory’s classified military networks.
• How do you isolate a built-up areas electronically and in cyber
domain before carrying out any kinetic operation.
• What type of tasking be given to Special Forces operating deep
inside enemy territory. Can they puncture enemy’s optical fiber
cable network and obtain data.
• Develop malware in pen drives to be inserted in enemy’s classified
network with the help of intelligence agencies so that information is
sent back at appropriate time and in a way which is not detectable.
• Develop cyber exploits to be planted in enemy’s key military
infrastructure like telephone exchanges, main servers of classified
networks, radar installations etc. This would explode electronically
as per our timings to make them nonfunctional.
• How do we influence the mind of opposing operational and strategic
commanders and leaders, specially for our Northern neighbours.
• What is the security of data link of our extremely costly airborne
early warning and control system (AWAC) to the other flying
aircrafts or to the bases. Getting a solution from Israel would not
do. We must develop our own solutions for these highly classified
• Already there are Chinese network equipments in our highly
classified network like the Air Force Net (AFNET). How do we
mitigate this danger.
• How do we overcome electronic and cyber attacks by swarm of
drones. Our Northern neighbours are adept at it.
• How to develop a malware which flown by a drone or UAV can fly
into adversary’s dense radar coverage, home onto the radar beam
and insert the malware to make the Air Defence Command and
Control Systems to malfunction, like in Operation ORCHARD.
There are many such applications that need to be developed during peace
time. The military leaders must ask the right questions. Then only the
technical experts will start thinking and come out with innovative solutions.
– Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd) is one of the foremost experts on electronics and communication,
is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and M. Tech. from IIT, Kharagpur.
Source: “Research and Development in Cyber Domain and Indian Perspective”, a paper published by Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) in September 2019.