December 8, 2016

Chinese malware used to steal secrets from Indian Navy

(LiveHacking.Com) – Hackers, most likely from China, have infected naval systems in India and stolen classified data. According to a report in the Indian Express, the hackers breached systems at the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam. One possible motivation for the attack is that the Eastern Naval Command plans operations in the South China Sea including the current sea trials for India’s first nuclear submarine, the INS Arihant.

The naval computer systems were infected with malware that collected and transmitted confidential files and documents to Chinese IP addresses. However, since the Navy computers are standalone and don’t have Internet access, it is believed that the malware was transporting files via USB pen drives.  To do this the malware created a hidden folder and collected specific files and documents based on keyword searches. The documents remained hidden on the USB flash drive until it was connected to a computer with Internet access. Then the files were sent to IP addresses in China.

According to the Indian Navy,  “an inquiry has been convened and findings of the report are awaited. It needs to be mentioned that there is a constant threat in the cyber domain from inimical hackers worldwide.”

The alleged Chinese cyber attack was discovered six months ago, but only now are details coming to light. The Indian Navy called in other Indian cyber forensic agencies in an attempt to find the hackers. China has been frequently accused of launching cyber attacks on other nation states including the USA.

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