Security meet discusses cyberattacks from China

Chinese hackers are more sophisticated and they settle down in any network, striking at will, participants told

October 19, 2021 08:03 pm | Updated October 20, 2021 09:31 am IST - New Delhi

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. File

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. File

The rising cyberattacks from China on critical installations was discussed at the National Security Strategies Conference chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday.

The Madhya Pradesh police gave a presentation on various lacunae in the legal and administrative sphere that were an impediment in investigating such cases.

The participants were told that while the Pakistani cyberattacks focussed on stealing identity and personal data, the Chinese hackers were more sophisticated and they settled down in any network, striking at will.

“There are several choke points that deter investigation, such as the origin of the message and from where the data packet was uploaded. The minister agreed to expedite any legal framework required to plug the gaps,” said an official who attended the conference.

Power centres targeted

On March 1 , the Union Power Ministry said the government thwarted “state-sponsored” Chinese hacker groups targeting various Indian power centres in November 2020 and February 2021. U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence firm Recorded Future discovered that Chinese state-sponsored actors may have deployed malware into Indian power grids and seaports after border tensions between India-China began escalating in May 2020.

The conference, an annual event held at the Intelligence Bureau headquarters, was attended by Director General of Police of all States and Director Generals of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). The nine-hour conference was divided into separate sessions.

A detailed discussion was also held on illegal migration and counter- terrorism measures.

Islamic terrorism

“The counter-terror session centred around Islamic terrorism. There was no mention of extremism involving other religions,” said the official.

The session on illegal migrants encapsulated the Rohingya migrant crisis.

Rohingya, an ethnic group from Myanmar, mostly Muslims who faced persecution in the neighbouring country. have taken shelter in Bangladesh, India and Saudi Arabia since 2012.

Though the Home Ministry informed Parliament in March last that there was no accurate data on Rohingya, it had said there were around 40,000 Rohingya in India .

Afghanistan not discussed

The consequences of the Taliban taking over power in Afghanistan was not discussed at the meeting. An official said the topic would be discussed threadbare at the annual Director General of Police (DGP) meet to be chaired by Prime Minister Narenda Modi later this year.

The role of certain non-government organisations (NGOs) in stoking protests was also highlighted.

“Deliberations were detailed and expansive, given the presence of all DGPs and DGs of CPFs. The conference deliberated on various internal security challenges and discussed ways to tackle them firmly,” the Home Ministry had tweeted.

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