How does China do cyberattacks, how can India deal with them?

Posted on 3rd Mar 2021 02:42 pm by rohit kumar

The clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Galvan in June last year and then the failure of the power grid in a large part of Mumbai in October four months later - both incidents were interlinked and China has been involved in this.


US-based Massachusetts-based cybersecurity company Recorded Future reported in a report that hackers of a group linked to the Chinese government had targeted India's critical power grid through malware.


Recorded Future is a cybersecurity company that studies the Internet using various countries.


After the news was published in the New York Times, both India and China have reacted to it.


Government of India and Maharashtra's response


Union Energy Minister RK Singh says that the government does not have any evidence to prove that the power blackout incident in Mumbai in October 2020 was caused by a cyberattack on China or Pakistan.


RK Singh from the news agency ANI said, "We have no evidence to say that cyber attacks were carried out by China or Pakistan. Some people are saying that the group responsible for these attacks is Chinese but we have no proof of this No, China certainly won't accept it. "


On the other hand, the Maharashtra government has also investigated the entire matter.


Maharashtra Government Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says that the report of cyber police will be put on the floor of the assembly on Wednesday. The report says that a cyber attack could be the reason behind this incident. In this, it has been said to target the power grid through malware. Also, it has been accepted to log in to the foreign server.


He said, "Cyberattack is not limited to Mumbai only, but its scope can be spread across the country. We should not do politics on this issue. I have spoken to Union Minister RK Singh on this issue. He has information about this Have asked and said that we should stay alert. "


On October 12 last year, a large part of Mumbai lost power due to grid failure. This had a serious impact on life in Mumbai and the adjoining metropolitan area. Due to this, local trains, treatment in hospitals, work in government offices were interrupted.


China's response

China has also put its side in this matter. A spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs has stated that it is irresponsible to make such allegations on anyone without any proof. China has always been in favor of cybersecurity and condemns any such attack. There is no role of speculation on the issue of cybersecurity.


America also accused China


This is not the first time that China is facing allegations of cyber attack. The US has also accused China of cyber-attacks earlier.


In 2014, the US accused Chinese military officials of stealing internal documents and business secrets from five private companies and a labor organization. Besides, in July last year, the US State Department sent a letter to the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas. Closed, the US had alleged that China was stealing Intellectual property from America.


At that time, the director of the US intelligence agency FBI described the Chinese government's espionage and information theft as "the greatest long-term threat" to America's future. Apart from America, countries like Australia, Vietnam, Taiwan have also accused China of various types of cyberattacks.


Therefore, it is important to know that what China has after all, which can easily carry out such cyber attacks in this way.


China cyber army


Karthik Bomakantik of the Observer Research Foundation has written a research paper analyzing the cyber army of India and China.


Speaking to the BBC, Karthik said, "China has a separate force called PLA-SSF to carry out such cyber attacks."


PLA-SSF stands for People's Liberation Army - Strategic Support Force. In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping made many changes in the army. It was established during that time. The SSF is fully capable of executing such attacks. They do this by resorting to security trails, tools, and analytics information systems.


How many people are included in this force, who is the head, all the concrete information of these does not come out. According to estimates, the number of people involved in this force is in the thousands.


General-level officers of the PLA head this wing. Based on information gathered from different sources, it is known that some people also work under this force, who are not directly connected with the SSF, but they work at their behest. They can also be hackers, which are used for cyber attacks. Therefore, while talking about cyberattacks, we should take care that the people of the SSF army may not be directly involved in some attacks. But with his consent and the help of others, he may have been attacked. "


Cyberattack on Mumbai power grid


Talking about the attack on October 12 last year in Mumbai, Karthik says, "The risk of such a cyber attack will remain on India as long as the Chinese electricity, hardware, software is used in the country's electricity grid." Will be done in


It appears that a similar Chinese has been used inside the Mumbai State Electricity Grid, which gave China an indication that it could carry out such attacks. For such a cyber attack, hackers and software programmers will need to generate a code that creates malware and then performs such attacks. "


Words like 'malware' and 'Trojan' have also been used in the report of the Government of Maharashtra. The Union Minister of Power has also mentioned this in the statement.


What is malware?


This is a cyber-hacking method.


Malware is software designed to steal information or data from a system. This program performs activities like stealing sensitive data, deleting it, changing the way the system works, and keeping an eye on the person working on the system.


Trojan is a type of malware that goes beyond the security system to create a back door so that a hacker can monitor your system. It shows itself like software and is found in any tempered software.


The New York Times report mentions the Cyber ​​Peace Foundation of India, which has talked about the rise in cyber attacks after the bloody conflict between India and China in Galvan.


The BBC spoke to Cyber ​​Peace Foundation founder president Vineet Kumar about this. He said that from 20 November 2020 to 17 February 2021, his research found that cyber attacks on critical care infrastructure (such as power grids, hospitals, refineries) were accelerated by China's IP address.


From November to February, he saw 2 lakh 90 thousand such hits, which shows that which IP address is trying for cyberattack, in which Chinese IP addresses were very high.


Vineet Kumar said that during this research, sensors are placed on the computer, and then such servers, networks, and websites are made, which appear to be a server or website of a hospital or power grid or refinery or railway. When there are cyber attacks on them, then it is known through the sensors that they are cyber attackers of which country and what kind of things they are targeting.


How capable is India to prevent cyber attacks?

India has two institutions to avoid such attacks.


There is a CERT known as the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team. It was made in the year 2004. This institution is responsible for taking immediate action on cyber-attacks that do not come under the critical information (such information which is necessary for running the government).


There is also a second institution, the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Center, which has been working in India since 2014. This organization performs the task of investigating and responding to attacks on critical infrastructure.


Says Trisha Ray of the Observer Research Foundation, "Cybersecurity law in India is nothing different than speaking. Currently, such cases are handled under the IT Act. Apart from this, there are some provisions within the Personal Data Protection Bill which are cyber They are related to security. But that too remains to be law. Besides, it is the responsibility of the National Security Council to make a cybersecurity strategy for the country. It was to be ready by the year 2020. But the work has not been completed yet.


This kind of strategy was made for the last time in the year 2013. But now the technology of such cyber attacks has changed a lot. "

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