BENGALURU: When GST Network (GSTN), in charge of technological infrastructure for the new goods and services tax regime, opened its portal to taxpayer registration in November, it saw Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) -a cyber attack aimed at disrupting services and bringing down the host system.
With the impending GST rollout, there are several cyber threats to GSTN, which is preparing to ward them off. Concerns have heightened after the recent ransomware attack and Legion hacking of social media data a few months ago.
The attack and subsequent plans to build a cyber security unit were confirmed by two sources. “There were attempts from countries such as Pakistan and China to swarm the system with a DDOS attack and bring it down. GSTN was able to ensure the system was not disrupted,” said one source aware of the development.
Another attack the GSTN system has seen is the Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), an attack wherein a malware creates a Trojan, which can execute unwanted actions from the user’s end. The source cited above said GSTN has also put in place systems to prevent such malware attacks. The network did not respond to specific queries about cyber security threats. Experts feel GSTN can expect hacking attempts, given the importance of commercial data it will handle.
“Regarding the threat landscape, it is as bad as it’s ever been, if not worse. Cyber crime is big business and is growing at an exponential rate,” said Rajesh Maurya, regional vice-president, India & SAARC, at Fortinet, a global cyber security solutions company.