China used compromised cameras to snoop into India’s power grids near Ladakh, says US-based group


New Delhi: A US-based cyber security group claimed that in a massive cyber-espionage operation, the Chinese government-linked cyber groups targeted at least seven Indian State Load Dispatch Centres (SLDCs) in northern India.

These centers are responsible for carrying out real-time operations for grid control and electricity dispatch in northern India, US-based group Recorded Future said.

The researchers noted that the targeting was geographically concentrated in North India, “in proximity to the disputed India-China border in Ladakh,” although it did not identify the precise locations.

A map of targeted power infrastructure released by the group illustrated rough locations concentrated in northern India.

Shadowpad — one of the backdoor tools used in the operation — is known to have originated from the contractors of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS).

The backdoor tool is also closely associated with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Also Read: China building a new bridge on Pangong Lake, GoI says monitoring the situation keenly

Incidentally, these backdoor operations took place after the border disengagement between Indian and Chinese armed forces started in February 2021.

Tensions between India and China escalated after the Galwan valley clash in 2020. The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.

Following the incident, both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry, resulting in increased tensions at the friction points.

Meanwhile, Indian Union power minister RK Singh on Thursday said that the attempts by Chinese hackers to target electricity distribution centres near Ladakh were successfully blocked.

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