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Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Chinese Hacked Indian Navy Systems

According to the latest security reports, India has left contemplating its naval, as the Chinese hackers managed to take out the computer system on the National Navy’s Eastern Command.

The intruders managed to plant malware on the targeted system based near the city of Visakhaptnam. The malware in question sent sensitive information to specific IP addresses in China. Local media reported how the country’s first nuclear missile submarine, named INS Arihant, had been running trials at the facility and might have got the bug.

The malware was said to work the following way: it had created a hidden folder where it copied specific files and documents based on the keywords it had been programmed to identify. The folder remained hidden on the pen drives until those were put in the machines connected to the web. That’s when the bug silently sent the collected files to the specific IP addresses in China.

Thus far, it is unclear how much was stolen in the hacking raid. The experts also can’t say whether the malware in question operated like Stuxnet and needed to be installed within the system by a spook first. Meanwhile, India has already arrested six officers for procedural lapses that caused the breach. The authorities do not reveal whether any of the officers can later face spying charges.

The interesting part of the story is that the national navy stores sensitive information only in standalone machines that are never connected to the Internet. Moreover, these computers also can’t have any ports or access points to use flash drives or external storage devices. How the malware got into machines should be a mystery for the Indians…

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