India says hackers from China entered navy’s computers

By Wang Wenwen Source:Global Times-Agencies Published: 2012-7-2 0:45:00

India's naval computer systems in and around Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, have been reportedly broken into by hackers who are alleged to be from China, The India Express reported Sunday.

The Eastern Naval Command plans operations and deployments in the South China Sea and beyond. The extent of the intrusion is not yet known, and Indian officials said it was not the right time to comment on the sensitivity of the compromised data.

The naval computers were found to be infected with a virus that secretly collected and transmitted confidential files and documents to Chinese IP addresses.

Ankit Fadia, an independent Indian computer security consultant, said all governments globally are building an army of "ethical hackers" whose job is to not only protect their country's government servers but also hack into other countries government systems and steal government or national secrets and documents.

"This is something that the US government, Chinese government and even the Indian government have been doing for many years now," Fadia told the Global Times.

"The Indian government servers have been repeatedly attacked by Chinese hackers. Indian Government needs to take cyber security more seriously and improve the security of critical government systems. Regular security audits must be done and government officials need to be trained properly as well," the consultant said.

In 2010, Indian media accused Chinese hackers of breaking into top secret files of the Indian Defense Ministry and embassies around the world. In March this year, a Tokyo-based computer security firm reported a former graduate student at a Chinese university hacked Indian military research bodies.

Li Wei, director of the Institute of Security and Strategic Studies with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, dismissed India's speculation.

"India's Internet security and software industry belong to the world's leading class. Its hacker defense ability is better than that of China. The accusation against China is not that credible," Li told the Global Times. "Meanwhile, hackers' IP addresses can change, which cannot be used as evidence of where the hackers come from. That's also why hackers are difficult to trace."

Li believed that some Indian media were playing the "China espionage" card to respond to domestic doubts against China, but it will not necessarily affect the overall Sino-India relationship.

Agencies contributed to this story

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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