Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

India needs to take prophylactic steps | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


<!–

Uday Deb
–>

The FBI chief Wray explained the growing PRC-sponsored cyber capabilities and operations to the US House Select Committee, which deserves the attention of all nations having problems with that country. Wray warned about China’s cyber hacking capabilities to ‘wreak havoc’ on the US infrastructure. While the Chinese cyber threat was also underlined earlier in October by Five Eyes intelligence sharing, Wray’s statement provides greater details of China’s ambitions and strategy. Wray also shared this issue with his counterparts at the Munich Conference and underscored that the use of artificial intelligence by hackers could act as a ‘force multiplier’ to conduct espionage and malign operations.   

Wray explained five dimensions of the Chinese operational strategy. First, he pointed out that the Chinese hacking capability is higher than that of all other nations combined. Second, explaining the functioning of the Volt Typhoon group, he stated that it installed malware stealthily and took over hundreds of old and outdated routers connected to those infrastructure assets. According to him, this was “the cyberspace equivalent of placing bombs on American bridges and power plants.” Wray pointed out that this group was seeking to pre-position themselves on the US IT network for disruptive and destructive cyberattacks. Third, the targets are not only political or military but include critical infrastructure including water treatment systems, the power grid, transportation systems, oil and gas pipelines as well as telecommunication networks.

Fourth, notwithstanding China’s assurance that it will not interfere with the Presidential election, Wray remained sceptical of such promises. The FBI website focused on its influence operations stating that ‘the Chinese government is employing tactics that seek to influence lawmakers and public opinion to achieve policies that are more favorable to China.’  Fifth, Wray stated that the long-term objective of China is to become the world’s greatest superpower through predatory lending and business practices, systematic theft of intellectual property, and brazen cyber intrusions. 

The Chinese hackers systematically operate to penetrate the adversary’s system. They exploit individuals’ vulnerabilities and motivations. These include ideological leanings, greed or financial problems, ego, blackmailing after ascertaining their weaknesses, use of coercion, anger and disaffection, and professional opportunities. They conduct computer intrusions by writing or manipulating code to gain access to or install malware in the computer network. They employ a variety of techniques. 

These deserve the attention of all computer users to take precautions. Through click-baiting, hackers conceal hyperlinks beneath the clickable links such as like and share buttons on social media sites. When clicked, the links cause a user to perform unwanted actions such as downloading malware or sending the user’s identity to a third party. Second is phishing when hackers conceal a link containing malware in emails, text messages or social media messages, which appear to be from legitimate organisations or persons. When clicked, the link or the file compromises the user’s electronic device and the system. Third is social engineering, which is used after carefully collecting data of users and designing the content to lure the users. Through this technique, the hackers trick a target into divulging his or her personal information, which is used for fraudulent purposes or influence operations. Fourth, hackers also use the vulnerabilities arising from unpatched software. Hackers exploit users or companies that do not update their software regularly. In such computer systems, it becomes easy to install malware. Fifth, exploitation of social media visits and information. Interactions on social media platforms provide information and inclinations of users, which are exploited.                    

Chinese hackers are also stealing advanced technological information for use by the Chinese industry or for manufacturing defence equipment and systems. This allows China to achieve generational advances and save time and resources on research and development. 

The Chinese cyber-hackers are highly trained and have acquired abilities not only to exploit common vulnerabilities but also to discover and even create new vulnerabilities. The Chinese hackers exploit computer networks of interest that hold sensitive intellectual property, and economic, political, and military information. 

China considers cyber-warfare as the decisive element in its strategy to ascend the international system and is central in military conflicts. Hence, the Chinese sponsored hacking operations have a larger objective in accordance with their hegemonic ambitions. China has built economic espionage and theft of personal and corporate data as a bedrock of its economic strategy. These operations have a reach to practically all fields and can weaken the economy and political will of adversaries. China has built a massive structure for cyber hacking. In the past, groups like Unit 69010 of the SSF and RedEcho from China had attacked our critical infrastructure. 

Currently, India faces two kinds of threats from China. First, given the tense situation along the LAC, there is a distinct possibility that the Volt Typhoon may have ‘pre-positioned’ malware to be activated later. This is a real threat that must be addressed. Second, India also faces intensified influence operations ahead of the 2024 elections. As only 3% of votes can change the election results, influence operations play a decisive role. China collects big data from India for analysis and launches specialised influence operations, as part of its cognitive warfare. Indian voters, policymakers, and influencers are the targets of the influence operations; hence they need to take prophylactic steps to remain uninfluenced by them. Understanding the ulterior motives of these influence operations aimed at seeking to sway policies in China’s favour, can help Indian voters counter their pernicious impact.  

Facebook
Twitter
Linkedin
Email


Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.

<!–

Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.

–>

END OF ARTICLE



——————————————————–


Click Here For The Original Story From This Source.

.........................

National Cyber Security

FREE
VIEW