Cyberattack from India targets Chinese medical facilities amid coronavirus fight: experts

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/6 17:13:45

Photo: IC

A Chinese tech giant recently found hackers from India carrying out cyberattacks on Chinese medical organizations, just as the country is fighting the novel coronavirus, which has infected over 28,000 people so far. 

Cases have shown that an Advance Persistent Threat (APT) from India is trying to attack Chinese medical organizations through a phishing scheme sent by email, the Chinese tech giant 360 Security Technology disclosed to the Global Times on Thursday. 

Using documents titled "Preventive measures to cope with coronavirus" and "Application form of Wuhan passengers" as bait, the attacker can obtain sensitive information by tricking people into visiting a website carrying a virus. 

Asked how many organizations and individuals had fallen victim to the attack, the company declined to reveal more information for security reasons. 

When departments, individuals and medical workers in the country are devoting themselves to fighting the coronavirus outbreak, Indian attackers target our medical organizations, which is shameful, Qin An, head of the Beijing-based Institute of China Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global Times.

"The attack might be an individual action, but it hurts Chinese feelings toward India and Indian people, and may cool China-India relations, which are still at a low point, Zhao Gancheng, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

In contrast to Indian hackers, many countries have expressed appreciation and support for China's efforts to fight against the novel coronavirus. Donations from 21 countries, including Russia, Japan, Britain, France, Turkey and Iran, to fight coronavirus have arrived in China. 

"The Indian government has yet to express a friendly gesture and support for China amid the coronavirus outbreak, which may be due to the Kashmir-related controversy," Zhao said. 

The attack could paralyze computing systems and obtain sensitive medical data, according to 360 Security Technology.

The APT from India mainly conducts spying activities in the Asian region targeting China and Pakistan to obtain sensitive information, such as scientific research and education related content, 360 Security Technology noted. 

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