A new study suggests that the neighbouring China might have targeted the Indian power sector last year in the middle of hostilities at the India-China border in Ladakh.
The report that has been shared with the government says that the massive power outage in Mumbai last year which stopped trains and shut down hospitals and the stock exchange for hours, might have been a planned activity by a China linked threat activity group, RedEcho. The report claims that it may be the result of a cyber attack from China in an attempt to give a sign to India not to stretch the matter further.
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The study shows that when Indians and Chinese soldiers were having a faceoff at the alongside the Ladakh border, which escalated in June with the clash at Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers died, the Chinese hackers may have planted malware in key power plants that manage power supply in India.
The links to the Mumbai outage highlighted in the report further provides additional evidence suggesting the coordinated targeting of Indian Load Dispatch Centres.
A US based company Recorded Future that studies the use of internet by state actors, reportedly pieced together the flow of Malware and found that most of the malware was never activated.
As quoted in media reports, the study said, “From mid-2020, Recorded Future’s midpoint collection revealed a steep rise in the use of infrastructure tracked as AXIOMATICASYMPTOTE, which encompasses ShadowPad command and control servers, to target a large swathe of India’s power sector. 10 distinct Indian power sector organisations, including four of the five regional load dispatch centres responsible for the operation of the power grid through balancing electricity supply and demand, have been identified as targets in a concerted campaign against India’s critical infrastructure. Other targets identified include two Indian seaports.”
The study also mentioned that a total of 21 IP addresses linked to 12 Indian power generation and transmission organisations were targeted.