What is the News?
A recent report has claimed that Chinese hackers had targeted Indians and Indian based companies. These cyber-attacks have raised concerns over whether China is engaged in cyber warfare with India.
What is Cyber Warfare?
Cyber Warfare refers to the use of digital attacks (like computer viruses and hacking) by one country to disrupt the computers or information networks of another country.
Possible evidences of China’s cyber warfare:
- Surveillance of Indian Individuals:
- A China-based technology company, Zhenhua Data Information Technology was monitoring over 10,000 Indian individuals. These individuals include politicians, judges, industrialists, bureaucrats among others.
- Its aim was to collect information about relevant people and track research papers, articles, patents, and their recruitment positions.
- ShadowPad Malware:
- In February 2021, a US-based cyber company had published a report about the Chinese group called Red Echo. The report mentioned that Red Echo was using malware called ShadowPad to target India’s power sector.
- The Ministry of Power has also confirmed the attempts of this ShadowPad malware in the power sector.
- However, there was no data breach/data loss had been detected so far. Further, the government has also taken action against the threats observed.
- Stone Panda:
- A US-based cyber group has informed about a Chinese hacking group Stone Panda. They informed that the Stone Panda is targeting the IT infrastructure of Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India(SII).
- These companies have developed Covaxin and Covishield. These vaccines are currently being used in the national vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
Reasons for cyber-attacks:
All these surveillance and hacking attempts could be happening for several reasons. Such as,
- Border clashes between India and China: As bilateral tensions continue to rise, cyber-attacks are expected to increase in India.
- Long Term Strategy of China: These cyber-attacks could also be an attempt by China to test and lay the grounds for further operations in future. Sometimes these offensive operations are carried out to distract India and China might be focussing on other cyber activities.
- Competition: The motivation behind Stone Panda’s attack was to extract the companies intellectual property. Further by extracting them, China can gain a competitive advantage over Indian pharmaceutical companies.
Source: The Indian Express