Military comes under phishing attack, Army points finger at crooks in Pak, China

A senior Indian Army officer said cyber attacks on India's critical infrastructure are originating either from Pakistan or China.
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

NEW DELHI: After the Armed Forces were attacked by cyber crooks on Friday late night, the tri-services cyber wings issued emergency warning to all the defence personnel not to access mail titled -- 'Notice' -- with attachments, sources said on Saturday.

"A Phishing email with subject as 'Notice' containing a hyperlink named HNQ Notice File.xls download is being sent out to the defence personnel specifically from the email id," the emergency alert stated.

The alert also pointed that any email with the above subject, originator and link be treated with caution. "Do not access the email from the inbox if received. Report or delete it immediately," the alert stated.

A senior Indian Army officer said cyber attacks on India's critical infrastructure are originating either from Pakistan or China. "Our cyber units are on high alert as such attacks have increased in recent times," the officer said.

The government has also planned to have a proper defence cyber agency for Armed Forces, whose focus will be limited to military cyber-issues. Its task would be to combat the current threat of foreign hackers from nations such as China or Pakistan.

Sources said a new trend has also been noticed wherein Pakistan Intelligence Operatives use a number of foreign countries to target the Indian military personnel. In many cases, operatives have successfully infiltrated the army communication networks disguised as security officials from other forces and wings, said sources.

The major targets of Pakistan Intelligence Operatives are to extract information about exchange operatives, adjutants of various units, and even former servicemen.

In 2016, it was found that cyber crooks stole thousands of files that reveal the capability of India's Scorpene submarine fleet. It was around 22,400 pages. Indian Navy has responded that it does not have anything to do with operational secrets.

The leak, which was reported in Australia, stated that cyber crooks stole these pages outlining the secret combat capability of six submarines that France's DCNS had designed for the Indian Navy. The design plans were leaked apparently from the French manufacturer DCNS that is the designer of the system.

The French shipbuilder had won a $38.06 billion contract to build Australia's next generation of submarines, but had a massive data leak.

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The New Indian Express