A high-profile government meeting held last month which involved a video chat via satellite was compromised by some Chinese hackers. The link was in the control of the hackers for around 4-5 minutes before a counter-offensive method was launched to neutralize it, reported. (Hackers China Broke Secret Government Video Chat 2017)
The Chinese link was then traced by an Indian cyber patrolling team. It is not yet sure that whether a group of state actors were involved in this hacking attack or a gang of cybercriminals were responsible for carrying out this operation.
“The message from the hackers was clear and said that they could turn their chat to their side any time they want. They mentioned that this was due to their lack of cybersecurity apparatus. The way by which the Chinese hackers hooked up to the most complicated and secret link is shocking. This shows that they could easily exploit the vulnerabilities and disrupt infrastructure, reported.
This newspaper gained access to a note from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), India’s domestic spy agency. It was mentioned in the note that the government was warned against increasing instances of cyber crimes. “There is no let-up in targeting a large number of Indian computers for a data pilferage. Whereas the government has taken many steps to address the security concerns emanating from cyberspace. The sources of threats to the Indian cyberspace have become weak and unrelenting,” the IB note said.
DIGITAL GOVERNANCE VULNERABLE:- (Hackers China Broke Secret Government Video Chat 2017)
According to a Prime Minister Office note, all the benefits and subsidy payments by the Centre and states should be re-routed through the JAM platform (Jan Dhan Accounts, Aadhaar Identification, and Mobile Verification) by the end of 2018.
Around 4,000 e-services are now being offered by the Centre and states. Nearly 60 crore e-services are being delivered every month. A senior government official said that over 8,000 portals and websites of the Central ministries and the state governments and the data collected by an organization are increasing rapidly. This attracts the attention of adversaries and the attackers.
Government departments have planned to have over 2,000 mobile apps by the start of 2018 to transact data and related services. In the meetings with stakeholders, some concerns have been raised that the apps and opening so many channels of communication might become a security nightmare.
“Security threats are now becoming more organized and targeted, and the state and non-state actors are reaping benefits of such data compromises. The departments that are handling websites and the security architecture is not ready to counter the targeted attacks,” the official said.
In a confidential communication taken by the Express, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology admitted that a comprehensive method or a way to secure information infrastructure is somewhat missing.
The ministry has ordered the government agencies to make a detailed counter-measure plan to deal with these crises arising out of the cyber attacks and get auditing done by the impaneled cyber experts for infrastructure, web applications and the websites.
Mock drill to test Centre’s preparedness (Hackers China Broke Secret Government Video Chat 2017)
- HRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development),
- MEA (Ministry of External Affairs),
- Heavy Industries, and
- Public enterprises — will participate in a mock drill to test the security on some of their critical assets.