Now, the hacking into the GOI (Government of India) goods and services tax (GST) database and its associated infrastructure dependencies installed at GST Network (GSTN) will lead to 10 year imprisonment. This is because the said system have been declared as “Protected System” by the finance ministry, under the IT Act (Information Technology Act),2000.
Protected systems are part of critical information infrastructure and their destruction can have a debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety. Since the information stored on the assets has national security significance, the facilities will get additional security cover.
The access to said system and it’s facilities has been limited to authorised GSTN employees, designated tax officers of the Central Government, State Government, Union territories, auditing agencies and accounting authorities along with authorised members or employees of the service providers that manage the GSTN, such as Infosys and Tech Mahindra or 3rd party vendors and GSTN authorized business partner.
U/s 70(1) of the Information Technology Act 2000, the government can declare any computer resource as a protected system and as per the Act. A person who attempts to access such a system will be punished with an imprisonment up to 10 years in addition to fine.