MUMBAI UNDER (CYBER) ATTACK
October 13th in Maharashtra, Mumbai, the financial capital as well as the largest city of India and a densely populated city was said to be under a cyber attack by the Chinese Hackers following the Galwan valley clash between the Chinese army and the Indian army on the line of control what is said to be the border of the disputed Askai Chin region of china and the Ladakh region near India located on the east of Karakorum range.
The Mumbai blackout ended up entire twelve hours resulting in the downfall of the stock market, train discontinuation, hospitals and ventilators getting affected that too in times of COVID’19 pandemic.
Early news reports by Indian officials said that the cause of the blackout was due to a Chinese-origin cyber attack on the Indian electric grid supply and load management center that was located nearby.
The chief operating officer of Recorded Future, a cybersecurity company that specializes in propagation and transmission of threat intelligence, Stuart Solomon stated that the state-supported Chinese hackers have previously been seen intruding on many of the Indian power generation and transmission infrastructure, which are said to be exceptionally advanced cyber hacking techniques.
WHAT DID THE ATTACK MEAN?
The attack was said to be a warning from the Chinese government to India of what they are capable of and what could happen if they don’t back out from the India China border.
Both the nuclear powers apparently believe that the other would not go as far as bring the nuclear weapons into the battle. And cyberattack means that the battle can be handled with negotiation, unlike the destructive and devastating nuclear attack.
It was also said that while there was an armed clash going on near the Ladakh border, the power control was hacked and loaded with intense spyware, although most of that was not even activated; only the small part was able to reach Mumbai causing the entire ruckus in the city, as reported by the recorded future.
It was also said that RedEcho, the organization behind the Mumbai blackout, might have planted more viruses in the major power plants in India.
RESPONSES FROM GOVERNMENTS
According to New York Times, the Energy Minister of Maharashtra, India, Nitin Raut stated on 1st March 2021 that the power breakdown in Mumbai last year may have been a doing of Chinese geeks and that three committees have been formed by the government to further look into the matter.
Also, the power system operation cooperation (POSOCO) is not impacted by the malware attacks and measures are being taken against the threats.
During all of this chaos, the Chinese government stayed low-key and did not counter the questions thrown at them by the Indian media. Although from India’s side there was an eruption of a cyber aggressive attitude because last year in February The Indian state-backed hackers took the support of emails containing malware related to the coronavirus and pandemic to aim at the Chinese organizations based in Wuhan, China.
COUNTER ATTACK BY CHINA
In response to this cyberattack, china released forty thousand three hundred attempts to hack India’s technology and banking infrastructure in a span of 5 days.
It can be said that this is just a threat given to the Indian government because again in December 2020, because an Indian nonprofit organization by the name of Cyber Peace Foundation’s security experts found out about a new wave of Chinese attacks where just as before the Chinese hackers sent phishing emails to the Indian people with content related to the upcoming Indian national holidays.
It was later found out that the emails were sent from fang Xiao Qing, an organization that sought to access the Indians device for a future invasion, running from the Guangdong and Henan provinces of China
Also, the military professionals in India have requested to remove the Chinese manufactured hardware which is utilized in their power sector, and Indian electric grids as well as train system that is also brought from China.
Though it is evident that with the increasing population and poverty rate in India it will be an almost impossible task for the Indian government to take this decision. The point to be noted here is that the Indian power system is distributed into five regional grids.
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