Is India Prepared to Face China’s Cyber-Warfare?

Is India Prepared to Face China’s Cyber-Warfare?

China and India have always had a tense relationship and over time, China’s economic and defence capabilities have grown, making it one of the most powerful nations in the world. Now and then, when India comes in its way, China tries all means to stop India.

China and India’s relations have been subject to border disputes, following three military conflicts – 

  • The Sino-Indian War of 1962 
  • The Chola incident in 1967 
  • The Sino-Indian skirmish in 1987.

The relations after these wars improved with China becoming India’s largest trading partner, until early 2017 when the two countries battled at the Doklam plateau along the disputed Sino-Bhutanese border.

The economic and strategic trade disputes turned severe and on 10 May 2020, Chinese and Indian troops clashed in Nathu La, Sikkim, leaving 11 soldiers injured. The tensions between the countries led to the Galwan Valley clash on 15 June 2020.

The loss of Indian Soldiers in the Galwan Valley ached the hearts of the people, who advocated boycotting Chinese goods. On 29 June, the Indian government banned 59 widely used Chinese mobile phone and desktop applications in response to rising tensions and intensifying diplomatic conflicts between the two countries.

The Malware Attack:

On 12th October 2020, Red Echo Group, a Chinese government-linked organisation, targeted India’s crucial power grid system through Shadowpad Malware. Due to the border tensions, a massive power outage in Mumbai was attempted by Chinese Hackers as per the reports by US Internal Security’s Recorded Future.

Recorded Future also reported China’s 21 IP addresses targeting 10 Power organisations and 2 seaports of India. Although, the Ministry of Power, New Delhi said there were attempts to breach the POSOCO (Power System Operation Corporation Limited). Still, the Malware attack has not impacted the power system. The report was dubbed “irresponsible” by China’s Foreign Minister, who criticised it for failing to provide facts.

In 2020, there were 40,000 cyberattacks by Chinese groups on India’s IT Infrastructure, strategic sector, and online shoppers hacked among many others. 

India is the world’s most cyber-targeted nation, primarily by China, the world’s second-best cyber force. India allegedly uses SideWinder and Dropping Elephant to counter-attack China.

India must improve offensive capabilities that are both strong and agile. Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy must work together to create an effective cyber defence to combat the common enemy. Starting with 5G, we need to be technologically ahead of China.

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