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In the darkened offices of a tech start-up, a handful of computer engineers sift through a mountain of intelligence data that would normally be the work of a small army of Indian security agents.“We use artificial intelligence [AI] to look for patterns in the past to predict future behavior,” says Tarun Wig as he explains why he hopes his company, Innefu Labs Pvt Ltd, can do more business with the Indian government.
“Cyberwarfare isn’t a movie, it’s happening right now... We lost out on the industrial revolution, we lost out on the defense revolution — let’s not lose out in the cyber revolution,” he says.While other countries have long relied on AI to gather intelligence, India — sometimes seemingly addicted to paperwork — has continued to use agents to eyeball reams of data gathered over the years.
It is a process that sucks up time and can often miss crucial information.
India has been in three wars with its neighbors since independence and the target of numerous cross-border attacks, including in 2008 when Pakistan-based militants killed more than 160 people in Mumbai.
Now the threat from cyberattacks is growing and the nation’s vulnerability has been exposed.
About 22,000 pages of data related to submarines that a French government-owned company was building for the Indian Navy were leaked to the media last year.Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account was hacked in November last year, while the elite Indian National Security Guard’s Web site was reportedly defaced last month with profanity laden messages targeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Our idea starting out was that if the next war is fought on cyber, we need our own weapons,” Wig says as he talks through software developed for India’s needs.
Innefu got a foot in the lucrative business of government contracts after resolving a thorny test case for a law enforcement agency that wanted to determine the background to an incident along one of India’s borders. The agency handed over two CDs with about 1,500 intelligence documents, including social media snippets, such as posts on planned protests.
Innefu had to program the machine to read the agency’s language, including abbreviations, and then began extracting information on what happened: Who the main players were and how they interacted with each other.
Its newest offering, Prophecy, is modeled on products made by Palantir Technologies, a private-security firm whose founders include Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel and whose clientele includes the CIA and the FBI.
“Prophecy is like an octopus with multiple tentacles that pulls data from multiple places,” Innefu cofounder Abhishek Sharma said.
While the use of AI is commonplace elsewhere in Asia, it is still in its infancy in India.
About 75 percent of respondents to a recent survey by consulting firm EY India said cybersecurity deployed in their organizations does not meet their needs, pointing to big opportunities for companies such as Innefu.
Although Innefu is the only Indian company known to specialize in national security, other Indian companies such as Arya.ai and Haptik are also tapping what should be a lucrative market.
Banks have started to use AI to target products to customers and doctors are using it in a couple of experiments to map a patient’s medical history to devise new lines of treatment.
Source by: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2017/01/23/2003663610
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