Suspected Chinese hackers reportedly targeted Indian grid near the Ladakh border

Suspected Chinese hackers reportedly targeted Indian grid near the Ladakh border
The Indian power grid has reportedly been under a Chinese attack for a long time nowUnsplash
  • The Indian power grid has once again come under attack from Chinese hackers, according to a new threat intelligence report.
  • The hackers reportedly targeted the power grid near the Ladakh border.
  • Back in 2020, too, Chinese hackers were reportedly behind the massive power blackout in Mumbai.
The Indian power grid has reportedly come under attack from Chinese hackers, who targeted the sensitive areas near the Ladakh border. And worse yet, this could be a continuation of the Chinese cyberwar against the Indian power grid, with malware compromising the grid, according to a study done in 2021.

According to a report by a threat intelligence firm Recorded Future, the Chinese cyber campaign against the Indian power grid could be a part of an espionage operation. The report adds that this could have been an attempt to collect critical data for positioning China for future activities against India.

“The prolonged targeting of Indian power grid assets by Chinese state-linked groups offers limited economic espionage or traditional intelligence gathering opportunities,” said the Recorded Future report.

“We believe this is instead likely intended to enable information-gathering surrounding critical infrastructure and/or pre-positioning for future activity,” it further added.

Apart from the power grid, the hackers also reportedly compromised a national emergency response system in addition to a subsidiary of a multinational logistics company, which the report has not identified by name.


Using compromised Internet of Things devices and cameras

Internet of Things (IoT) devices and security cameras have long been known to be insecure, and unsurprisingly, the report states that the Chinese hackers used these IoT devices and cameras as their attack vectors.

The report adds that these Chinese hackers launched their attacks on the Indian power grid using devices situated in South Korea and Taiwan – which have good relations with India – likely to mislead researchers and avoid putting the blame on China.

Ties to the Chinese government suspected

The hacking group, named TAG-38, used a malicious software called ShadowPad. The software has previously been tied to China People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of State Security, hinting that this could be a Chinese state-sponsored hacking campaign.

Earlier in 2021, Record Future also discovered that a Chinese malware had been found pervading the Indian power grid months after the Galwan valley clashes broke out in 2020.

At the same time, Mumbai, India’s financial capital and amongst the worst-hit regions during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, suffered a city-wide blackout. This forced hospitals across the city to switch to emergency generators to keep critical life support systems functioning.


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