E-governance is a valuable tool to make available public services in an economical, transparent and accountable manner. However, e-governance to be effective must be supported with a sound and security cyber infrastructure. If the e-governance initiative is insecure, it is worst than the paper based model.
There is no doubt that cyber security of e-governance services in India is needed to make Indian e-governance projects cyber secure. Otherwise these e-governance projects would be vulnerable to cyber attacks and cyber crimes. This is exactly what happened in case of Madurai Corporation that had recently introduced the facility of issuing online birth and death certificates.
An investigation against the Madurai Corporation has been launched by the cyber crime cell after death certificates were issued in the names of CPI (M) MLA R. Annadurai and State Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju by some miscreants which came to light Saturday last.
Madurai Corporation immediately brought down the system and presently it is offline till the cyber crime cell finishes its investigation. The police have also interrogated the staff in-charge of issuing online birth and death certificates. Police has also narrowed down on four staffs in the Corporation in this regard.
Preliminary inquiries suggested that the death certificates were indeed issued by the Corporation. The digital signature appearing in the certificate was, however, not of the designated officer. The password of the staff may have been compromised by the cyber criminals in getting access to the computer.
The police have seized the computers and related equipments for cyber forensics investigation. The police may be able to track back the cyber criminal through IP address and get crucial evidence through hard disks and other media. Common cyber forensics mistakes must be avoided by the cyber crime cell to get better results.