Sources within Indian government's IT arm--the National Informatics Center (NIC) have raised some really dangerous concerns. According to them the government's IT infrastructure has been used by black hat hackers to attack China. Talking to the Times of India a source said that the government servers have been compromised and used by foreign perpetrators. The admission from the NIC sources mean two things:
- India's IT infrastructure can be used by foreign elements as zombies
- China's been attacked using Indian infrastructure
It is hard to ignore the geopolitical confusion this can create. Malicious attacks against the IT infrastructure of a government are not new. China being involved in these attacks is not surprising either. The big IT security news last year was about the hack attempts originating from China that affected Google. What followed was confusion over Google's future in China and even a retaliatory attack by Google. China has the perpetrator/bad-guy image but that doesn't mean they won't be attacked.
Back in September, the Central Bureau of Intelligence (CBI) said they believed that Delhi's airport was hacked into. The threat of cyber-warfare being used to cripple critical resources is real and India's bureaucrats are considerably lagging in realizing this. During Hilary Clinton's visit to India, the two countries did formulate plans to work together against cyber terrorism. The alleged attacks on China by outsiders using Indian government's IT infrastructure as zombies are one example of a compromised network; sophisticated threats like Stuxnet capable of taking down a nation's (Iran) nuclear program are another.