India’s cross-border surgical strikes involved real men and real bullets. In a counter- offensive, Pakistan is using computers and virus-laden emails to ‘attack’ the Indian Army. Launching a cyber war, Pakistan Army is sending spoofed emails to Indian Army personnel with the subject line ‘Actual story of surgical strike done by Indian Army in PoK’. A hacked email address of a key office in the directorate of military intelligence is being used to send and give credibility of the phishing mail.
With a large number of Army personnel reporting the cyber attack in the last 10 days, Army Headquarters has issued an alert to all its units to be cautious.
“The content of the email tempts users to trust the legitimacy of the message by indicating that the attached document is an official statement from Indian Army on surgical strike in PoK and subsequent response after Uri attack,” a Army Headquarters statement said.
After tracing the spoofed email, the Army’s Cyber Group established that the malicious file’s IP address was linked to a server in Germany, which appears to be fake.
“This malware is designed to steal user data and credentials. It also allows the hackers to take remote control of the targeted machine (computer),” an Army Cyber Group alert confirmed.
Since the September 29 pre-dawn strike by Indian commandos of the Special Forces, Pakistan has carried out several attacks in the virtual world. At least 50 IT companies in Hyderabad have come under a wave of cyber attacks from Pakistan-based hackers over the past 10 days.
On October 3, the National Green Tribunal’s website was attacked by a group of Pakistani hackers who posted a message mocking the Indian side over the surgical strikes.
Few months ago, China’s Western Headquarters, which overseas India, launched a cyber attack on the Indian Army, raising alarms bells.
Recently, a similar cyber attack was launched in the name of the Seventh Central Pay Commission malware, a topic of interest among defence and government officials. In 2013, computer systems of the Defence Research and Development Organisation were breached by Chinese hackers.