Conversations on china hacking

In 2009 and again in 2010, researchers from Information Warfare Monitor (is public-private venture between two Canadian institutions: the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and The SecDev Group, an operational think tank based in a Ottawa, Canada. It is an independent research activity tracking the emergence of cyberspace as a strategic domain.

In 2009 the researchers released the report Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network. In 2010 the researchers released Shadows in the Cloud: Investigating Cyber Espionage 2.0. In both of these reports it was revealed that hackers from China hacked into Indian computers and picked sensitive information. The Shadow Report, reported that there have been exfilteration of sensitive and secret data by a spy network targeting government networks in India and other countries. The report traced this complex ecosystem of cyber espionage to the Chengdu Province of China. The shadow report revealed that in 31 countries, 139 IP addresses of compromised computers were found, of which the highest 62 were from India.

Please see the information picked by the hackers .
Please see the List of Affected Institutions.

Using the Right to Information we found that no investigation has been launched by the Indian Government into this cyber espionage (referring to the revelations made in the Shadow Report), nor efforts made to close the security holes exploited by them. For an attack on India that was no less serious than Kargil, this lapse is shocking. Our conversation with various ministries of the government through RTIs is as follows:
A short video the subject has been uploaded. Please watch the China Hacks, India Ignores. Also watch other videos here.

Communication between Indian Government and Researchers: Indian cyber security officials were in Toronto to meet the researchers from Munk School of Global Affairs. As recently as early March, the Indian communications minister, Sachin Pilot, told reporters that government networks had been attacked by China, but that "not one attempt has been successful." On March 24, the Toronto researchers said, they contacted intelligence officials in India and told them of the spy ring they had been tracking. They requested and were given instructions on how to dispose of the classified and restricted documents.
The IHQ, MOD (Army) vide letter no. A/810027/RTI/7356 dated 24 August 2011 informed that "liason with University of Toronto is carried out by National agencies and is beyond the charter of duties of IHQ of Mod (Army)."

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References

  1. Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a cyber Espionage Network, http://www.infowarmonitor.net/2009/09/tracking-ghostnet-investigating-a-cyber-espionage-network/
  2. Shadows in the cloud: An investigation into cyber espionage 2.0, www.infowar-http://www.infowar-monitor.net/2010/04/shadows-in-the-cloud-an-investigation-into-cyber-espionage-2-0/
  3. India was aware of hacking threat, Times of India, 07-04-2010 http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.-com/2010-04-07/india/28130928_1_cyber-warfare-cyber-terrorism-national-security
  4. Canadian researchers reveal online spy ring based in China, The Globe and Mail, 06 April 2010, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/canadian-researchers-reveal-online-spy-ring-based-in-china/article1524228/
  5. China Cyberspies Strike Indian Military,Tibetan Exiles, and Embassies in U.S., DailyTech, 7 April 2010 , http://www.dailytech.com/China+Cyberspies+Strike+Indian+MilitaryTibetan+Exiles+and+Embassies+in+US/article18064.htm
  6. Cyber Assault- Hackers Steal Defence, Security Secrets & Lot More, knowledge.com, http://knowhowledge.com/website/staticpages/News-articles/Hack/thack1dp.asp (2) India was aware of hacking threat, 07 April 2010, http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-04-07/india/28130928_1_cyber-warfare-cyber-terrorism-national-security
  7. Researchers Trace Data Theft to Intruders in China, The New York Times, 5 April 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/science/06cyber.html?pagewanted=2
  8. The report was released on 6 April 2010, http://www.infowar-monitor.net/2010/04/shadows-in-the-cloud-an-investigation-into-cyber-espionage-2-0/
  9. Chinese agents hack into India's top secret documents!, 6 April 2010, rediff business, http://business.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/apr/06/slide-show-1-chinese-agents-hack-into-indias-top-secret-documents.htm
  10. China's Cyber Wars- India Strategic also hacked, April 2010, India Strategic, http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories570.htm
  11. Parliamentary Question, unstarred Q.No. 1840 in the Rajya Sabha asked by Shri Kaptan Singh Solanki, answerd by Minister of Defence Shri A.K. Antony, on 11-08-2010