Centre issues dark web advisory to ministries, provinces to prevent data leaks.

The federal government has sent a cybersecurity advisory to ministries and provincial governments to prevent data leaks through the dark web, it emerged on Friday.

The dark web, or darknet, is a part of the internet that lies beyond the reach of search engines. Users are largely anonymous and untraceable and mainly pay with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The advisory, titled 'Leakage of Sensitive Data on Dark Web (Advisory No 53), noted that the anonymity offered by the dark web makes it a 'gateway to the world of crime' and constitutes 96 per cent of total data available on the internet.

'Dark/deep web is being used by nefarious mindsets, including criminals, terrorists, Hostile Intelligence Agencies (HIAs) and non-state actors,' it stated.

The advisory lists some of the crimes carried out on the dark web, including:



Website defamation

Data dumps

Accessing personal information of citizens and key appointments via leaked databases

Financial scams via leaked banking details

Honey pots to trap civilians and government officials

Terror financing and money laundering

Disseminating propaganda

Recruiting terrorists

Cross-border collaboration and terrorist support

Drug, human and weapons trafficking

Bounty hunting and ransom attacks

'Users are advised to put in efforts to protect personal and official data from being exposed to cybercriminals and further leakage on hacking forums/dark web,' the advisory stated.

It provided a list of guidelines to ensure data safety. These are:

Stay away from exploring dark web sources

Remain vigilant while surfing the web

Never forward, or click a link or pictures shared on email or WhatsApp by unknown sources

Apply two-factor authentication on all email, social media and banking accounts.

Never share One-Time Password (OTP) with anyone

Do not install untrusted software or applications (without digital signature) from third-party sources on Windows and Android/i0S phone

Do not install unnecessary plugins on browsers except Adblock and Adblock plus

Always install and regularly update reputed antimalware/anti-virus solution on both Windows/Android phones


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