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Chinese hackers' attempts to target India's power system near Ladakh blocked, says Indian minister

The report claimed that one of the load dispatch centres was at the crosshairs of a hacking group called RedEcho which allegedly shares ‘overlaps’ with a hacking group that the United States has tied to the Chinese government. 

Apr 07, 2022
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Chinese hackers' attempts to target India's power system near Ladakh blocked,  says Indian minister (Photo: Youtube)

India's Power Minister R K Singh Thursday said that attempts by Chinese hackers to target electricity distribution centres near Ladakh have been blocked.  “Two attempts by Chinese hackers were made to target electricity distribution centres near Ladakh but were not successful,” the minister said in response to media reports claiming a cyber attack on the power grid near Ladakh between August and March. 

"We have already strengthened our defence system to counter such cyber attacks," he said. 

Suspected state-sponsored Chinese hackers targeted the power sector in India as part of a cyber-espionage campaign, Bloomberg quoted threat intelligence firm Recorded Future Inc. According to the reports, the hackers had set their eyes on seven ‘load dispatch’ centres in northern India which are responsible for carrying out real-time operations for grid control and power distribution in the areas near the Indo-China border in Ladakh. 

The report claimed that one of the load dispatch centres was at the crosshairs of a hacking group called RedEcho which allegedly shares ‘overlaps’ with a hacking group that the United States has tied to the Chinese government. 

Hindustan Times had reported that a massive power outage was averted in eight states including Punjab and Himachal Pradesh after India's Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had alerted the respective state governments about a Chinese cyber-attack. Between last week of February and the first week of March, Chinese hackers had targeted ten entities in power sectors in these states, Indian media said quoting intelligence sources. 

In addition, the hackers compromised an Indian national emergency response system and a subsidiary of a multinational logistics company, according to the Bloomberg report.

Indian and Chinese troops have been in a nearly two-year-long standoff in eastern Ladakh following clashes near the Galwan Valley in May 2020, and have not been able disengage completely from several potential friction points despite 15 rounds of talks between the two armies.  

(SAM)

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