TTT New Delhi – India should have a biopsy taken to measure its preparedness to combat the cyber threats of China, after experiencing the first feelers of Beijing’s cyber tentacles in the attack on Mumbai’s power sector – the nation’s financial capital – five months ago.
Instead of debating the issue or giving a carte blanche to China to carry out further ‘forays’, India should already have vigorously investigated the power outage and obtained background from the Mumbai Cyber Cell which has also gone on record saying the invasion, other than being domestic in origin, was responsible for the sudden collapse of the power system in Mumbai.
The timely alert of the hacking-in-progress itself saved the grid of another power unit in the state of Telegana, home to Hyderabad, which, if media reports are to be believed, was a direct Advance Persistent Threat (APT) which had wormed its way through the power network in a bid to crash the system.
On India’s northern border, tech-savvy China in 2015, installed a surveillance observation post (SOP) in the Burtse area of Depsang in Ladakh which subsequently increased bilateral tensions when paramilitary personnel deployed in the region objected.
Following pressure from India, the structure was dismantled.
This was the first indication, perhaps, for India, to have foreseen what was to come.
Another pointer was the hacking of computers in a bid to steal data from the office of India’s Prime minister several years ago.
Efforts by China to reimage itself have failed time and again on the international stage.
Just last year, Beijing’s plan to usurp part of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, the two Indian states bordering China, went awry with Chinese authorities on the end of global criticism after it went to far to deploy its military in the region.
And now, the world is far from pleased with the militarization of Myanmar as flights from Kunming in southern China, believed to be loaded with ammunition and soldiers, have been seen landing at Yangon in Mayanmar although all civilian flights to and from Myanmar had been discontinued by the military after the coup.
Pakistan too is an issue.
On the surface the nation may be nursing cordial relations with China but its people do not trust Beijing.
The latest example of this can be seen in the Chinese COVID vaccines that have been rejected by its people in lieu of Indian vaccines.
The U.S. administration of Joe Biden has also now hinted to India about the cyber warfare China is planning, and the power of so-called APT (advanced persistent threats – in full) with the capability of remaining undetected for a predetermined ‘gestation’ period known as a ‘dwell time’ in Cybersec 101.
The United States is also worried about cyber attacks on American servers as President Xi Jinping tries to reimage China.
But as we watch and wait, the ongoing session of National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s legislature and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) will throw up various issues related to Taiwan, India, Myanmar and possibly even China’s disastrously low birth-rate and the loosening of family planning restrictions – but we will hear nothing of the nation’s ongoing dance with cyber warfare.