Indian Cyber watchdog C-DAC developing an App called MKavach to shield smartphones and tablets from malware and hacking attacks

Recognising the need for a home grown App to protect users from malware and hacking attacks, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology. Government of India is developing a standalone App called MKavach.

Recent hacking events and data breaches have proved that smartphones have become a important part of the supply and data management chain. If hacked, smartphones which often contain sensitive company & personal and banking data becomes a very easy vector for hackers to tap into bank accounts of the victim.

As per the reports published by CERT-In, India is the fourth most targeted country by hackers and malware droppers.

C-DAC’s MKavach where m stands for mobile and Kavach means shield in Sanskrit, will  shield the smartphone users from malwares and banking information stealing trojans.

Further it will also help users track their lost and stolen smartphones with a use of a unique technology which the C-DAC has not specified in its presser. MKavach will also allow smartphone users to block unwanted calls and SMS.

The MKavach features listed by C-DAC are given below :

  • Message filter based solution for adding and enforcing variety of security policies at Android kernel level
  • Protects the critical information stored on mobile device.
  • Prevents the usage of mobile device by unauthorized personnel by changing the SIM
  • Allows easy backup & restore of data both locally on device and also on remote server
  • Enables to have remote control on the device such as remote lock & wipe
  • Blocks unwanted Calls/SMS
  • Offline Security Analysis of Android Mobile Applications and
  • Protection against JavaScript Malware
  • Application Securelisting
  • Web based interface for managing mobile devices

The App will come in three variants to cater different class of users like Personal, Enterprise and Critical User Groups (classified usage.) The App will only support Android devices as of now but iOS version will be added soon as per the officials.

 

A source from the C-DAC said that banking information stealing trojans and other backdoors are a omnipotent threat to smartphone users.  He pointed out that malicious content laced with Trojan accounted for 57.08 per cent of all detections, which indicated that phones were vulnerable and could be easily manipulated by miscreants.

“Those who use mobile phones to make online payment can become easy target of hackers who randomly target users worldwide. If we take the estimated figure of approximately 55 crore active SIM cards and mobile phones in the country, this itself provide a huge database for the hackers to launch random or targeted attacks,” the official added.

C-DAC has however not given any release date for the App but is now inviting EOIs for commercial release. The brochure for MKavach can be read here.

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