A ban on the use of pen drives has not been able to safeguard cyber security as it has now been labeled as a major threat in defence forces, the Army officials said. The use of pen drives as an easy-to-carry storage device has increased in the recent past and internal reports have confirmed that over 70 percent cyber security breaches in the armed forces are due to their unauthorised use
"These pen drives, which are mostly manufactured in China, have emerged as a big threat to our cyber security systems," they said.
Generally it is found that officials use pen drive to store official data for use at their personal computers but from there, it is transmitted from their IP addresses to hackers from the 'malware' present in the pen drives. About a couple of years ago, a Major posted in Andaman and Nicobar Islands was apprehended as it was found that sensitive data was being transferred from his computer.
However, it later emerged that his system had been hacked and spying viruses were transferring information to other computers. Measures have been taken by the other two services also to tighten their cyber security as IAF (Indian Air Force) also recently issued instructions to its personnel warning them against having any official data on their personal computers and pen drives.
Anybody found violating these instructions in checks by cyber security personnel will draw strict action which may even amount to disciplinary action including court martial, they said.