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Chinese cyber attack foiled: Power Ministry

Topics Covered: Cyber security related issues.

Chinese cyber attack foiled: Power Ministry:


Context:

Recently, few “State-sponsored” Chinese hacker groups targeted various Indian power centres. However, these groups have been thwarted after government cyber agencies warned it about their activities.

Union Power Ministry has clarified that:

  1. There is no impact on any of the functionalities carried out by the Power Sector Operations Corporation (POSOCO) due to the referred threat.
  2. No data breach/data loss has been detected due to these incidents.
  3. Prompt actions are being taken by the Chief Information Security Officers at all these control centres under operation by POSOCO for any incident/advisory received from various agencies.

US Report on the incident:

According to U.S. cyber security and intelligence firm:

  1. Chinese state-sponsored actors may have deployed malware into Indian power grids and seaports as border tensions between India and China began escalating last May, culminating in a deadly clash along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in mid-June.
  2. An October 12 grid failure in Mumbai may have been caused by the Chinese malware.
  3. There is still some evidence of ongoing intrusion although a significant amount of it has subsided recently.

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Steps taken by the Government to spread awareness about cyber crimes:

  1. Online cybercrime reporting portal has been launched to enable complainants to report complaints pertaining to Child Pornography/Child Sexual Abuse Material, rape/gang rape imageries or sexually explicit content.
  2. A scheme for establishment of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has been established to handle issues related to cybercrime in the country in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  3. Establishment of National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country.
  4. All organizations providing digital services have been mandated to report cyber security incidents to CERT-In expeditiously.
  5. Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) has been launched for providing detection of malicious programmes and free tools to remove such programmes.
  6. Formulation of Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber-attacks and cyber terrorism.

What needs to be done ahead?

  • Regularly issue alerts/advisories.
  • Capacity building/training of law enforcement personnel/ prosecutors/ judicial officers.
  • Improving cyber forensics facilities etc.
  • Speed up investigation.

Finally, ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects as per the Constitution of India. States/UTs are primarily responsible for prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes through their law enforcement machinery.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).
  2. National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC).
  3. CERT- In.
  4. Cyber Swachhta Kendra’s.

Sources: the Hindu.