Why the NTA Might Struggle to Conduct NEET Safely Again: What You Need to Know

Image Source: Learning Routes
Image Source: Learning Routes

Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) and the National Testing Agency (NTA), the agency’s website and online infrastructure have become targets for cybercriminals. These threat actors, operating from the darknet, are complicating the NTA’s efforts to conduct exams safely. Despite this looming threat, the NTA is determined to hold the exams and announce the results on time, though doubts persist.

The NEET schedule, disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic, was only restored to normal last year. Now, rumors suggest that officials on deputation are considering leaving the agency, adding to the crisis. Experienced staff members believe that trust in the NTA can only be regained by improving the agency’s fundamental operations, regardless of whether exams are held online or offline.

The NTA’s IT department is confident about releasing CUET results by June 30th, as reported by TOI, but there is uncertainty about rescheduling postponed or canceled exams. According to an NTA source, the fear of darknet hackers compromising the agency’s security protocols makes rescheduling unlikely at present.

An NTA official has confirmed that there has been no paper leak in Bihar. Recently, the Bihar Police requested details of six candidates and discovered issues, such as non-existent roll numbers, mismatched names and numbers, and seizures that occurred after exams were public. This situation underscores the cyber security challenges faced by the NTA.

The security of the black box, where question papers are stored, is also in question. This case highlights significant cybersecurity vulnerabilities and limitations. Leveraging AI could help detect such cyber threats, and advanced algorithms could be developed to enhance cybersecurity measures, preventing future attacks.

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