Steering away from Windows, the Indian Ministry of Defence is embarking on a transition to the Maya OS, an indigenous operating system distinguished and developed by India itself. The Ministry of Defense has opted to swap out the prevailing Microsoft Windows OS in all internet-connected computers. Instead, they will be adopting a homegrown OS named Maya, which is rooted in the open-source Ubuntu platform and has been crafted domestically.
This tactical change is a direct response to the growing threat posed by recent spikes in the number and severity of ransomware and malware attacks. At its core, this domestically developed operating system boasts a distinctive security element known as Chakravyuh.
Let’s know about this Maya OS in a bit more detail.
Maya OS – What Is It?
Born in 2021, the notion of Maya OS took shape following a series of cyber offensives launched by foreign entities against India’s defense networks. In response, the Ministry of Defence embarked on a mission to craft an in-house operating system, one designed to outshine the security and dependability of Microsoft Windows.
Maya OS has developed, taking inspiration from Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution known for its use of freeing open-source applications. A group of state organizations, including the NIC, C-DAC, and the DRDO, collaborated to create Maya OS.
A standout attribute within Maya OS is its implementation of Chakravyuh, a distinctive tool serving as both an antivirus and endpoint anti-malware solution. This ingenious feature constructs a virtual barrier between the user and the vast expanse of the internet, effectively thwarting unauthorized access by hackers to valuable and confidential information.
Why Was There a Need to Make Maya OS?
The transition to Maya OS arrives in the midst of an escalating tide of cybercrime and digital conflict. To put it in perspective, India encountered a staggering 1.391 million instances of cybersecurity breaches in 2022, as unveiled through official data disclosed in the parliamentary arena.
India has borne witness to a succession of cyber assaults, with a particularly notable occurrence surfacing in November of the previous year. During this episode, Central Depository Services Limited (CSDL) discovered the infiltration of “malware” within several of its internal systems.
AIIMS, a cornerstone of vital healthcare infrastructure, encountered its share of cyber onslaughts. The initial breach materialized in January, closely followed by a subsequent intrusion identified in the month of June.
The nation has found itself ensnared by a succession of malware and ransomware assaults, some of which have specifically targeted crucial infrastructure in recent times.
Implementation of Maya OS
As of now, the implementation of Maya OS is confined to systems within the Defence Ministry, excluding computers linked to the networks of the three (Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force) services. Addressing this, an official remarked that they have given their stamp of approval and are on the cusp of integrating it into their service networks. While the Navy has already given its approval, the Army and the Air Force are presently in the process of assessing its suitability, the official further conveyed.
The objective is to have Maya installed on all South Block computers linked to the Internet by the impending August 15 deadline. The rest of the computer systems are slated for a transition to the Maya OS by year’s end.
Developed as a shield against the surge in ransomware and malware attacks, Maya OS derives its security prowess from its unique feature, Chakravyuh. This transition was ignited by a wave of cyber offensives in recent years, leading the Defence Ministry to collaborate with various state agencies to create an OS that ensures superior security compared to Windows. This timely move aims to fortify the nation’s cybersecurity landscape, curbing the rising instances of breaches and digital conflicts.