Pak and Chinese military lose key information to hackers

According to claims by Pak and Chinese officials, nearly 15,000 files were compromised.

New Delhi: In an incident that has ceased to be widely reported, critical military information related to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was stolen from computer systems located at the PAF headquarters in Islamabad. The said incident took place in May, but its occurrence was disclosed earlier this month among relatives in Pakistan. Pakistan and Chinese entities that work in tandem in the field of cyber security have claimed that said cyber “espionage” is being carried out by “entities friendly to India”.
According to officials from these countries, these entities that hacked Pakistani military systems downloaded malware which, after being installed in the targeted computer system, recovered a large number of documents, presentations, including encrypted files, that were stored there. Said malware was sent to the target which was embedded in emails believed to be from senior officers. Some of the files transferred from military computer systems were related to satellite communications, military communications and nuclear facilities.
In total, according to claims by Pakistani and Chinese officials, nearly 15,000 files, some of which included correspondence sent by Pakistan’s top defense offices, were compromised.
Later, analysts based in Pakistan were able to identify the intrusion, according to unverified claims, based on clues left by the same hackers who broke into the systems. A similar action was carried out, the same analysts claim, in March, targeting Pakistan’s naval assets.
According to discussions between Chinese and Pakistani officials who were asked to handle such an intrusion, another such exercise was attempted by the same entities earlier this week and it was ongoing until the time when the story broke. been published.
Earlier this month, Chinese state-sponsored media reported on another entity, which it said was based in India, launching separate cyberattacks on Pakistani and Chinese military establishments last year. last. The reports claimed that the attacks had, in addition to stealing data, “damaged infrastructure” related to energy. If the claims by Chinese and Pakistani officials are true, then this would be one of the first such incidents in which critical information relating to the military establishments of these two countries was compromised by allegedly “pro- Indian”.
China and Pakistan have long carried out cyberattacks against Indian military and civilian companies, which has been attributed to the lack of awareness among officials on how to avoid these cyberattacks, which in most cases come through a simple Trojan email as was done in this case.
Interestingly, India suffered a Chinese state-sponsored cyberattack on its power plants in October 2020, which led to widespread blackouts in Mumbai. The same has been denied by China.

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