Since the Pokharan blasts, Pakistani computer hackers have been regularly attacking websites of Indian organizations. The homepages of the Prime Minister’s Office, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Ministry of Information Technology, and Videsh Sanchar Nigam were hacked into and defaced with anti-India obscenities.
Pakistani hacker groups like Death to India, Kill India, and G-Force Pakistan openly circulate instructions for attacking Indian computers. The websites http://www.fuckindia.org, run by Nicholas Culshaw of Karachi, and http://www.fuckindia.com, run by Arshad Qureshi of Long Beach, California, contain malicious anti-Indian propaganda along with step-by-step instructions for hacking into thousands of Indian websites. Anti-Indian terrorist instructions are also hosted by http://220.127.116.11, http://18.104.22.168, and http://22.214.171.124.
Surprisingly, India’s government has not attempted to disable these websites. The Ministry of Information Technology has not even demanded an explanation from Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers as to how domain names like http://www.fuckindia.org and http://www.fuckindia.com could be registered at all.
defence and intelligence officials dismissed these activities as the handiwork
of Pakistani adolescents who did not having backing from Pakistani military
and intelligence forces. However, B. Raman, former additional secretary,
Cabinet Secretariat, cautioned that India should not underestimate the havoc
that can be wrought even by unorganized teenage hackers.
security establishment has also ignored information warfare capabilities
possessed by Islamic militant
organizations. Rand Corporation recently
warned: “Osama bin Laden’s Egyptian followers can immediately cripple the
information infrastructures of Russia and India.” Clark Staten, Executive
Director, Emergency Response and Research Institute, Chicago, warned that
Ikhwan al Muslimoon, Jamaat Islami, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Khilafah, Izz al-Din Al-Kassam,
and Nida'ul Islam had developed offensive capabilities in information warfare.
serious than Pakistan and Islamic militants is the threat posed by China.
According to Timothy Thomas of the US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office
in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, China’s leaders reckon that it can achieve
hegemony in Asia only by integrating information warfare into its geopolitical
strategies. Thomas stated: “China is quickly integrating the latest
information warfare techniques into its People’s War concept. This
development has been ignored by the West but will have far-reaching strategic
and operational implications.”
mid-1999, China established a special task force on information warfare
composed of senior politicians, military officers and academics, headed by Xie
Guang, Vice-Minister of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for
National Defense. Other key members are Fu Quanyou, Chief of China’s General
Staff, Yuan Banggen, Head of General Staff Directorate, Major General Wang
Pufeng, Senior Colonel Wang Baocun, Shen Weiguang, Wang Xiaodong, Qi
Zhenxing, Yang Minqing, Dai Qingmin, Leng Bingling, Wang Yulin, and Zhao
task force has prepared
plans to cripple the civilian information infrastructures of Taiwan, USA,
India, Japan and South Korea. Qi
Jianguo and Dai
Qingmin have formulated a
comprehensive scheme: First,
China would not attack military or political targets in these countries but
would target their financial, banking, electrical supply, water, sewage, and
telecommunications networks. Second, Chinese companies would establish
business links with private companies in these countries. After carrying on
legitimate business for some time, they would insert malicious computer codes
and viruses over commercial e-mail services. Third, the viruses and malicious
codes would be sent through computers in universities in third countries so
that they could not be traced back to China but would be thought to be the
handiwork of adolescent pranksters. Fourth, the attacks would be launched when
the political leadership of the target countries was preoccupied with election
campaigns. Leng Bingling, Wang Yulin, and Zhao Wenxiang are in charge of
mobilizing students and businessmen to support
their military’s cyberattacks against civilian targets in these countries.
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has conducted several field exercises
recently. An “Informaticized People’s Warfare Network Simulation
Exercise” was conducted in Echeng District of Hubei Province. Five hundred
soldiers simulated cyberattacks on the telecommunications, electricity,
finance, and television sectors of Taiwan, India, Japan and South Korea. Ten
functions were rehearsed in another exercise in Xian in Jinan Military Region:
planting information mines; conducting information reconnaissance; changing
network data; releasing information bombs; dumping information garbage;
disseminating propaganda; applying information deception; releasing clone
information; organizing information defense; and establishing network spy
stations. In Datong, forty PLA specialists are preparing methods of seizing
control of networks of commercial internet service providers in Taiwan, India,
Japan and South Korea. They held demonstrations for Beijing Region Military
Command, Central Military Commission, and General Staff Directorate.
October, Chief of General Staff Fu Quanyou presided over an exercise in
Lanzhou and Shenyang Military Regions which simulated electronic confrontation
with countries south and west of Gobi Desert. This focused on electronic
reconnaissance, counter-reconnaissance, electronic interference and
It tested the battle readiness of PLA’s command
automation systems, command operations, situation maps,
and graphics processes and controls, and data encryption systems. Smaller
exercises were carried out in July in Chengdu Military Region and in August in
Guangzhou Military Region.
has also enlisted support from universities. It established the Communications
Command Academy in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, in collaboration with
Hubei’s engineering universities. The Navy Engineering College, headed by
Shao Zijun, also in Wuhan, is collaborating on secret projects on information
warfare with Communications Command Academy.
also established the Information Engineering University, headed by Major
also established the Science and Engineering University, headed by Major
General Si Laiyi, by combining the civilian Institute of Communications
Engineering, the Institute of the Engineering Corps, the Air Force’s
Meteorology Institute, and the Research Institute of General Staff
Headquarters. Si Laiyi attracted over 400 civilian professors from
universities all over China to teach PLA officers electronic engineering,
information engineering, network engineering, and command automation
engineering. He also announced the establishment of a new Institute of
Computer and Command Automation and persuaded sixty experts of Chinese origin
settled in the West to return to work there.
fourth PLA institute is the National Defense Science and Technology University
in Changsha, under direct supervision of Central Military Commission, where
the “Yin He” series of supercomputers have been developed. In mid-1999,
sixty senior officers studied reconnaissance, monitoring technology, precision
guidance technology, command automation, and electronic warfare against
countries located to the south and southwest of China. Three hundred colonels
are currently undergoing training here.
counter cyberthreats from China, Pakistan and militant Islamic groups, India’s
government should immediately establish a national center on information
systems security. It should tap the expertise of universities and private
software and internet companies. In addition to the government and defence
sectors it should cater to the banking sector, stock exchanges, telecom and
internet networks, power and water supplies, and transportation. It should be
structured on the lines of the US President's Commission on Critical
Infrastructure Protection which was created by President Clinton in 1996 and
in which several US corporations and universities are partners -- principally
IBM, Dell, BellSouth, GTE, and Carnegie Mellon University. USA’s Computer
Emergency Response Team is a joint venture of Carnegie Mellon, Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency and
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
India should also provide support to the numerous dissident Chinese hacker groups formed to avenge the Tienanmen Square massacre. One is headed by Lemon Li who operates from St. Nazare, France. Another is headed by Michael Ming and functions out of College Station, Texas. The most successful hackers have been Yellow Pages and Blondes. Blondes was founded by Blondie Wong who operates from Toronto. Mao Zedong’s henchmen had killed his parents. But since he was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Wong decided to use only peaceful means to overthrow the Beijing regime. The Bangkok chapter of Blondes is headed by an Englishwoman, Tracey Kinchen, who was earlier an MI5 agent. Her team disabled a PLA spy satellite by sending spurious signals using cellular modems. Another Englishwoman, Ashton Tyler Baines, heads the Kowloon chapter of Blondes. Her team has launched over 72,000 cyberattacks against PLA. Baines claimed: “Blondes and Yellow Pages have already placed over 40 computer operators as moles inside PLA's cyberspace divisions. We can infiltrate, alter and even crash their communications satellites, space program, supercomputers, and networks. We are putting in backdoors and writing bad code into their servers. We have already infected off-site copies of their CD-ROMs.”
that provide the Indian government with some ideas of how to counter a Chinese
Published in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, 19 December 2000, Edit Page, titled "Hack the Hackers"
http://www.hindustantimes.com, Click on Archives, Go to issue of Tuesday, 19 December 2000, Click on "Opinion", click on "Hack the Hackers". URL of original publication is http://126.96.36.199/nonfram/191200/detOPI01.asp
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