What is Maya OS, the indigenous Windows replacement for India’s defense systems?

The Indian Ministry of Defence is ditching Windows for Maya OS, a homegrown operating system that has a special security feature called Chakravyuh. Here's everything you need to know.

Nishita Gupta
Nishita Gupta July 4, 2023
Updated 2023/08/10 at 4:23 PM

The Defence Ministry has announced a major overhaul of its cybersecurity system: it will replace Windows in all its internet-connected computers with a new OS called Maya. This is a response to the growing threat of malware and ransomware attacks, which have become more frequent and severe in recent times.

But what is Maya OS and how does it differ from Windows? How will it benefit the military and who are the brains behind it? Here are some answers to these questions.

What is Maya OS?

Maya OS is a new operating system that is based on Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution that uses free and open-source software. The Defence Ministry has developed Maya OS with the help of various government agencies, including the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), and the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

One of the main advantages of Maya OS is that it has a similar interface and functionality as Windows, making it easy for users to adapt to it. It also has a feature called Chakravyuh, which is an end-point anti-malware and antivirus software that creates a virtual layer between the user and the internet, blocking hackers from accessing sensitive data.

What is Ubuntu and is it really more secure than Windows?

Ubuntu is one of the most widely used Linux distributions in the world and it is known for its high level of security. Unlike Windows, which has a large number of malware and vulnerabilities due to running more services and its backwards compatibility, Ubuntu has very few malware and exploits.

Ubuntu is also distributed as free and open-source software, which means that anyone can inspect, modify, and improve its code. This allows Ubuntu to benefit from the collective efforts of thousands of developers and users who contribute to its development and security. Furthermore, Ubuntu has a built-in firewall, a strict user permission system, and regular security updates that help protect it from potential threats.

Who are the creators of Maya OS?

The idea of Maya OS was conceived in 2021 after India faced several cyberattacks from foreign actors that targeted its critical infrastructure and defence systems. The Defence Ministry decided to create its own operating system that would be more secure and reliable than Microsoft Windows.

A team of experts from various government agencies worked on Maya OS for six months, according to sources. The team also collaborated with Indian software companies and academic institutions to test and improve the OS. The OS has been vetted by the three Services – the Navy has already cleared it and the Army and the Air Force are currently evaluating it.

When will Maya OS be deployed?

Maya OS is currently in its evaluation stage and it is expected to be rolled out soon. The plan is to install Maya on all computers connected to the Internet in South Block before August 15, along with the Chakravyuh protection system. The remaining computer systems should be upgraded to Maya OS by the end of the year.

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