Feeds

10,000 Indian government and military emails hacked

State-sponsored snoopers suspected of large scale incursion

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

India’s government and military have suffered one of the worst cyber attacks in the nation’s history, after over 10,000 email accounts belonging to top officials were compromised, despite a warning from the country’s cyber security agency.

The attack came on 12 July, four days after the government was warned by the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), part of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), that some sophisticated malware was spotted targeting specific individuals and organisations.

News of the attack was revealed at a day-long NCIIPC meeting in New Delhi this week, according to the Indian Express.

Email addresses belonging to officials working at the Prime Minister’s Office, defence, home, finance and external affairs ministries and intelligence agencies were nabbed in the attack, which has been blamed on state actors.

“The Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs took the biggest hit, plus strategic information related to critical sectors, including troop deployment, was compromised,” an NTRO official told the Express.

“Paramilitary forces were also badly hit, especially the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), as deployments were revealed. There were serious cases of negligence, the involvement of insiders, if any, is also being checked.”

India’s most prolific foe in cyber space is thought to be Pakistan, but the frequent skirmishes between the two tend to involve web site defacements and the occasional DDoS attack from various hacktivist groups.

Back in March, minister for communications and IT, Sachin Pilot, revealed that over 100 government sites had been compromised in this manner between December 2011 and February 2012, while the India CERT said there were 834 defacements of .in sites in January alone.

However, the attack in July appears to have been more co-ordinated and carried out with the aim of obtaining specific information.

The NTRO was tight-lipped on the source of the attack.

“We would not like to name the state actors but D4 — destroy, disrupt, deny and degrade — process was initiated and counter offensive launched,” the NTRO official told the Express.

Back in June reports emerged that India’s National Security Council was finalising plans to give the NTRO and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) the power to carry out unspecified offensive operations if necessary. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.