Chinese Attackers Hold Hostage High-Profile Indian Govt Video Meeting

CyberPrivacy Brief:

  • Chinese attackers hacked into a ‘secret’ Indian government video meeting held via satellite last month, holding it hostage for about 4-5 minutes, The New Indian Express reports. 
  • Using a counter-offense tactic, a cyber patrolling team reportedly neutralized the compromised link.
  • The attack’s attribution and motivation are not yet known. But, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), India’s internal intelligence agency has warned the government against increasing cyber espionage operations.

Further, the report adds that Indian state and central government digital platforms and e-services are at high risk for cyber threats due to lacking security infrastructure.

An unnamed senior government official warned that threats to disrupt and damage digital systems are becoming organized and focused. “The departments handling these websites and even our security architecture are not ready to effectively counter targeted attacks,” the official added.

To improve cybersecurity, the ministry directed government agencies to create a comprehensive defense and response plan against cyberattacks; as well as seek audits from cybersecurity experts concerning the security of infrastructure, web applications, and websites.

Indian companies and government institutions generally lack proper cybersecurity capabilities to detect an attack unless bringing in experts to perform a post-breach investigation, The Times of India Reports. In August, Chinese attackers reportedly gained remote access to the IT systems of an Indian infrastructure company, accessing sensitive company data for a period of time.

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