Why is India’s Defence Ministry Replacing Microsoft Windows With Ubuntu-based Maya OS?

The Indian Ministry Of Defence is switching from Windows to Maya OS. It is a free and open-source Linux distribution believed to be more reliable and secure than Windows.

The Defence Ministry has announced a significant upgrade to its cybersecurity system, switching all its internet-connected computers from Windows to a new operating system called Maya. This is a response to the recent increase in the frequency and severity of malware and ransomware attacks, which pose an increasing threat.

In this article, we are going to tell you what Is Maya & How Is It Different From Windows. What will be its advantages to the military and who suggested it? So, let’s start!

What is Maya OS?

Maya OS is a new operating system that is based on Ubuntu, a well-known Linux distribution that uses free and open-source software. The Defence Ministry has worked with several government organizations, including the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), and the National Informatics Centre (NIC), to develop Maya OS.

One of the main benefits of Maya OS is that it has identical functionality as well as an interface to Windows. This similarity makes it easier for its users to adapt to it and use it conveniently. Maya OS also offers a feature called Chakravyuh, which is end-point antivirus and anti-malware software that forbids hackers from accessing sensitive data by establishing a virtual barrier between the user and the internet.

What is Ubuntu? Is It Really Secure Than Windows?

Ubuntu is a world widely used Linux distribution known for the high level of security it offers. Ubuntu has extremely little malware and vulnerabilities compared to Windows, which has much more malware and vulnerabilities since it runs more services and is backward compatible.

Ubuntu is also distributed as open-source software and free of cost, which simply means that anyone can inspect, modify, and improve its code. 

This ability benefits Ubuntu from the collective efforts of a large community of developers and users who contribute to its development and security. Additionally, Ubuntu is shielded from potential threats by a built-in firewall, a stringent user permission system, and frequent security updates.

Who Created Maya OS?

A robust team of experts from various government agencies came together to work on Maya OS. According to the sources, they worked on it for 6 months.To test and enhance the OS, the team also worked with academic institutions and Indian software companies. The OS has been examined by the three Services; the Army and the Air Force are now assessing it, while the Navy has already given their approval.

The idea of Maya OS was brought up in 2021 after the nation faced several serious foreign cyberattacks that threatened critical infrastructure and defense systems. Therefore, the Indian Defense Ministry decided to create its own operating systems to safeguard its systems.

When Will Maya OS Be Launched?

As mentioned earlier, The Maya Operating System is currently in its evaluation stage and if all things fall into place and are approved by the authorities, it is expected to be rolled out soon. Before August 15th, Maya and the Chakravyuh security program will be installed on all South Block PCs with Internet access. By the end of the year, Maya OS should be installed on the remaining computers.

It is worth noting that Maya OS is not the first locally developed operating system in India. Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS) is also an existing Linux-based operating system that has been in development for more than 16 years and was also tested by the Indian Army. This native operating system was created by the National Resource Centre for Free and Open Source Software (NRCFOSS) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). On February 19, 2021, BOSS 9.0, also known as Urja, was made public.

Why It is Named “Maya”?

The name Maya OS is taken from the Sanskrit term Maya, which translates as “illusion.” The name of the computer’s operating system implies that it may shield the computers of the Defence Ministry from attacks by establishing a false layer of defense. Chakravyuh, on the other hand, was inspired by an ancient Indian military formation that was meant to encircle foes in a maze.

Bottomline

India’s critical infrastructure has had several security breaches and cyberattacks in recent years. The Kudankulum Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) cyberattack in 2019, the Mumbai Power Grid outage in 2020, the ransomware attacks on Oil India Limited and Spice Jet servers in 2022, and the hack of the Goa Flood Monitoring System are some of the most noticeable events.

Using an indigenous operating system may not only be a promising first step in protecting India’s critical computer systems from hostile attackers, but it may also help the nation become less dependent on imported software and increase its cyber resilience.


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