Amid the persisting standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India has witnessed a 300 percent jump in hack attacks allegedly carried out by China-backed hackers, Cyfirma, a Singapore-based cyber research firm, claimed in its latest report.
According to Cyfirma, after 18 June, the intensity of China's "cyber warfare" increased, prompting the researchers to alert India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN). Controlled by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, CERT-IN is a nodal agency that deals with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing while strengthening the security-related defence of the Indian Internet domain.
Citing Cyfirma CEO Ritesh Kumar, the media reported that the hack attacks were concentrated on domestic Indian industries such as the phone manufacturing, construction, media and government sectors. According to reports, Kumar also noted that at the industrial level, the hack attacks were targeted at Indian firms which have a global reputation.
After 18 June, however, the attacks allegedly refocused on mining the classified and sensitive information of Indian citizens.
Cyfirma’s research traced the origins of these cyber attacks, which purportedly led to the Chinese cities Beijing, Chengdu in Sichuan province, and Shenzhen, a metropolis which links Hong Kong to China’s mainland.
The news comes a day after the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, citing national security concerns as the main reason.
In an official statement, the government said the applications are "engaged in activities that are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order."
For safety, security, defence, sovereignty & integrity of India and to protect data & privacy of people of India the Government has banned 59 mobile apps.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 29, 2020
Jai Hind! 🇮🇳
Earlier last month, Chinese brands like TikTok and Xiaomi were found to have been tracing the search and location history of Indian users incognito, using illegal methods like SIM tapping. Amid the tension on the border, Indian users have been actively joining a social movement called #BoycottMadeinChina that urges fellow countrymen to delete all Chinese apps from their devices.
Several public figures including actors Arshad Warsi and Milind Soman have joined the chorus.