China’s War Without Bullet: The Unofficial War In South Asia

Technology is developing in every field we see around us. Now with wars also, there are no players on battlefields. Now, countries are playing battles in cyberspace by giving cyber threats. These cyber battlefields don’t have soldiers; they have ammunition, hackers, and cybersecurity experts who are fighting over data. China is playing this game very dangerously.

China's War Without Bullet: The Unofficial War In South Asia
China’s War Without Bullet: The Unofficial War In South Asia

Last year, things were not fine between India–China after the Galwan valley attack. Well, now things are a bit fine between India-China but only on the ground level. China is planning something and playing with India in terms of cyber threats. After the Galwan valley face-off, a cyber firm ‘Cyfirma’ noticed a 200% increase in cyberattacks from Dragon towards India.

A few days back General Bipin Rawat, who is India’s highest-ranking armed force official, said,

“China is already investing in a lot of funds, also they are allocating a lot of funds in ensuring that they imbibe technology.” He added, China is very much capable of launching such cyber attacks on us, which will cause disrupting large amounts of our system and crack our data. Therefore, they have a lead over us.

China ranks second in cyber power

According to the Harvard University’s National Cyber Power Index, China ranks second in cyber power. In the record of most cyber-targeted countries, India is one of them. For China, India is at the top of the targeted list.

For the few last decades, India has been facing several cyber operations. Many times the targeting of India’s civilian and defense infrastructure is reported. Reasons behind such attacks are strategic posturing, as a warning, or for information theft.

The most recent cyberattack India faced was in the last year in 2020. Along with the Line of Control (LOC) conflict between Indo-China, China was playing their smart cards in terms of cyber things. Codenamed ‘Red Echo’ which is a China-based threat actor group, had targeted at least 10 assets of India’s critical power sector as well as two ports. A US-based cybersecurity company presented this report.

These assets include various State Load Despatch Centres. These centers ensure real-time integrated operation of India’s power grid through balancing the supply of electricity and also maintain a stable grid frequency. The National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC), Mumbai Port Trust, VO Chidambaranar in Tamil Nadu are some targeted groups.

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in 2019, National Stock Exchange in 2015, and Shadow Network in 2009 are some well-known cyberattacks that India had to face in the last decade.

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