Over 800 people have already been killed by the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China and the numbers only appear to be increasing. In the midst of this epidemic, Bejing also looks to be extremely anxious about cyberattacks emanating from the US, Europe, East Asia, South & Southeast Asia and has asked for Indian assistance.
According to a report in Chinese state-run Global Times – Beijing has asked New Delhi to honour its commitment over cyber-security. In November 2019, India called for global cooperation to address the threats on cybersecurity.
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar had stated – “We need to arrive at a global understanding if not a global regulation, in order that the cyberspace remains open, safe and secure.”
The report states that Chinese tech giant 360 Security Technologyrecently captured a cyberattack of advanced persistent threat (APT) launched by Indian hackers, who used the novel coronavirus as a lure potential targets in China.
The attacks are coming from everywhere. China has been the main victim of APT attacks, with its cybersecurity under constant threats from the US, Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
India also reported cyberattacks against its Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and Indian Space Research Organization in 2019. It is sorry to see a victim of cyberattacks undermine cybersecurity, says the report.
With suspected Indian background, a group called BITTER has launched continuous APT attacks since March 2019 targeting China’s government agencies and Chinese organizations, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The group’s main targets, as disclosed in 2016, are government, the arms industry, and nuclear industry. The attacks against China were listed as one of the deadly cyberattacks conducted by the most dangerous APT hacker group in 2019.
At the crucial juncture (of fighting the coronavirus) if such APT manage to get access to sensitive sites and information, the consequence would be disastrous, says the report. China’s most advanced medical technology and data of our high-end medical equipment could be stolen and maliciously used. What’s worse, those hackers with sinister plans could create more fear related to the virus and thus disturb the social order.
Beijing needs secure cybersecurity to share new information and data with other countries so that China can substantially assist the rest of the world in preventing and controlling the deadly coronavirus.
The report adds: the tough battle against the epidemic would be more fervent if China’s cybersecurity is not compromised, especially with hacker attacks targeting the country’s medical system. Consequently, it won’t be just China but the entire mankind who will suffer ultimately.