Tuesday, September 07, 2010

India v China

Some of you may remember my "X vs China" series of posts of 2007, where I discussed multiple high profile cases where various nations noted their disapproval of China's exploitation of their networks. (That's right, 2007 -- three years before the January festivities.) This morning I read Hostile nations trying to steal India's defence secrets, by Rajit Pandit of India's Economic Times. He writes:

Even as Chinese and Pakistani online espionage agents continue their attempts to hack into Indian computer systems, hostile intelligence agencies are also trying to steal defence secrets through use of computer storage media (CSM) devices like pen drives, removable hard disks, CDs, VCDs and the like.

The Intelligence Bureau has sounded a red alert about "intelligence officers of a hostile country'' encouraging their "assets'' working in Indian defence establishments to use CSM devices to pilfer classified information from computer networks...

This comes even as the Army is conducting a court of inquiry against a major posted in the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Command, who had stored over 2,000 classified and sensitive documents on his personal computer which was "hacked'' from Pakistan earlier this year...

With cyber-warfare being a top military priority for China, its online espionage agents frequently break into sensitive Indian computer networks.


This story is interesting for two reasons. First, it cites an Indian example of the the risks of personnel with access to classified documents and storage media, similar to the Manning and Wikileaks cases. Second, like the recent Economist magazine discussing the relationship between China and India, it reminds me that China is not just targeting established powers. China is also targeting other rising powers. It would be interesting to research Russia v China or Brazil v China scenarios. Maybe Jeff Carr will post something? (hint)

5 comments:

Jeffrey said...

You know me too well, Richard. I'm working on that very thing for a presentation at Blackhat Abu Dhabi, should it be selected. If I don't make the cut, I'll publish it at Forbes Firewall and ping you. :-)

scottevil said...

India is one of seven nations that produces a combat aircraft themselves. I believe it is called the LCA. Brazil, of course, has rocket launching facilities. Thise "developing powers" are already developed in certain sectors, so they struggle with the same security problems as Europe and the US.

Steven Branigan said...

The recent Bradley Manning espionage case along with the press about "Operation Buckshot Yankee" continue to show that information is a valuable target. Further, disgruntled insiders or even guests, once inside, can often exceed authorization and gain access to a network worth of information.

Firewalls are necessary to protect against the external threat, of course. However, internal security controls and effective logging are becoming necessary as well.

Mark Kelly said...

No surprise that China is targeting India with targeted information espionage (and likely vice versa). From different magazines China is a bit threatened that India is building its economy more like the US. vs a low wage manufacturing economy like China has mostly had. India is well positioned to be the dominant economic player in the region due to taking this approach and an overall greater entrepreneurial spirit then China on average.

Peter Abatan said...

The new wars will not be fought using the latest millitary weapons, neither will it be through flying planes into buildings.

The new war to be fought will be purely based on information espionage. Countries and especially organisations will rise and fall depending on how vulnerable they become due to their inability to persistently protect their data.