The Army’s sensitive Command and Information Decision Support System (CIDSS), which is employed during war-time operations, has been found to be vulnerable to virus attack and potential hackers. The CIDSS, named Operation Samvahak, is a software project based on the web and has a database that operates on a number of networked servers and clients. It has been reported in the media that Bangalore-based Defence Public Sector Undertaking Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which was awarded the Rs 140-crore contract by the Army’s Directorate General of Information System (DGIS), did not “provide services as per the provisions of the contract”. The revelations have come at a time when the outgoing Chief of Army Staff, General V K Singh, has written to the Prime Minister about critical deficiencies in key weapon systems many of which have outlasted their life cycles. “Performance Certificates” in respect of CIDSS suggest that the critical faults involving virus attack resulting in the crashing of servers, led to complete disruption of normal functioning of the system between June and September 2011.
Although the CIDSS system is not classified, it assumes a critically important status once information is uploaded.