Chinese hackers breach Indian navy computers

Chinese hackers breach Indian navy computers

Summary: Chinese hackers allegedly plant bug via flash drives on India navy's computers, which relayed sensitive data to China IP addresses, report notes.

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Hackers have penetrated India's naval computer systems in and around the city of Visakhaptnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, and planted a bug which sent sensitive data to IP addresses in China, a report says.

According to The Indian Express on Sunday, the naval computers were found to be infected with the virus and noted that India’s first nuclear missile submarine, INS Arihant, was currently undergoing trials at the facility.

The virus had reportedly created a hidden folder, collected specific files and documents based on certain "key words" it had been programmed to identify, and remained hidden on the pen drives until they were put in computers connected to the Internet, after which the bug quietly sent files to the specific IP addresses, sources explained to the news site.

The extent of loss however, is still undergoing investigations, and it was "premature at this stage" to comment on the sensitivity of the compromised data, officials noted.

“An inquiry has been convened and findings of the report are awaited. It needs to be mentioned that there is a constant threat in the cyber domain from inimical hackers worldwide,” officials stated, adding that at least six mid-level officers had been indicted for procedural lapses which led to the breach.

India's navy, and other armed forces, typically stores sensitive data in standalone computers which are not connected to the Internet, and these computers are not supposed to have ports or access points for flash drives or external storage devices, sources noted.

This is not the first time viruses had been found to steal and send data to China. In June, ESET Security had discovered a worm, which targets and steals files running AutoCAD software and sent them to e-mail accounts located in China, leading them to conclude the malware was designed for industrial espionage.

Topics: Security, Data Management, China, India

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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7 comments
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  • Shows the level of insecurity beijing is facing

    Its not unknown that china as a political state is being isolated by nearly all major countries because of their agendas and their methods.
    This in turn has turned bejing into an insecure state that is not trusted by anybody and has embarked on mission of stealing information from other states to find out whats going on. Same old china
    nuaron
  • Oh China China China...

    Its quite obvious China is making their move to become a military state, they are preparing for WW3 and have been actively stealing american technology in the U.S. by purposely sending military operatives with computer science backgrounds into the states to penetrate industrial and military systems.
    It is a known fact that china is actively pursuing the pentagon for military technology with over 800,000 attempts a year. What these dumb-asses are failing to see is that we also have people with skills...
    There is a second problem that is becoming more transparent as time goes by, american allies are also targets as we share technology with others. This does not mean those allies follow specific guidelines to protect their systems from intrusion, which makes it a security risk.
    The typical Chinese military way... coward-ism, don't worry china we are coming for you too...
    From what I hear we have also built un-hackable military computer systems that don't run on civilian operating systems (About F*****G TIME!), with special processors just like the ones you developed years ago that have special memory ranges so even if you get your hands on a copy of the OS you will still need specific hardware to run...
    now lets hope that our military industrial complex don't decide to sell them this information for profit...
    xymantec
  • Chinese is Chinese!

    Hi dude! Have a Life.. everything that you used in person comes from china. mobiles,computer.. toys even Baby Diaper.. name it..Iam an Indian..much I hate chinese what they did in 1962 to humiliating India, you cann't live without any trace of Chinese connection..only way you can defeat them is refuse to buy their product.. the moment you decide this.. Chinese will begging for friendship.. but Alas! most of politicians in every country is under chinese payroll.. so this is not going to happen
    Vaithy Lingam
    • China is China

      maybe ,you also made in china
      Alanchen
  • What nations' defense industrial bases haven't been owned by China?

    When I hear about Chinese APT this, or Chinese hacking that, it is not news. That is the norm now.

    Probably most nations have been targeted by Chinese cyber espionage (even countries like Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Vietnam)
    f0real
  • Espionage and computer viruses

    Guys grow up. Which country is not involved in espionage? Industrial or otherwise. 75% of all espionage in US is done by its so called best ally Israel mostly by Neo-Con dual passport holders. And talking of planting computer viruses, how about the recent leak from the White House about the joint US/Israeli Viral infection of the Iranian nuclear facilities.
    Ga Sia
  • WWIII on the WWW.

    I'm glad China is proficient in the use of cyber espionage... like it or not, the cyber battlefield has been a busy front among serious nations for many years now... the bots are busy.
    TOSS Wok