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‘Attacks failed’; Hackers target power grid near Ladakh twice

On Thursday, Power Minister RK Singh said that Chinese hackers attempted to breach into energy distribution centres in Ladakh but were failed. Singh stated that India has enhanced its defence system in order to resist such cyber assaults from its neighbour. Hackers attempted at least two cyberattacks on the Union Territory’s electrical distribution system.

In response to media claims of a cyber assault on the power system in Ladakh between August and March, Singh stated, ‘Two efforts by Chinese hackers were attempted to target energy distribution centres near Ladakh but were not successful’. In addition, the Minister stated that the defence system has been enhanced to counter cyber threats. ‘We have already enhanced our defence system in order to counter such cyber assaults,’ he added.

The minister’s statements came after several media reports, citing private intelligence firm Recorded Future, claimed that state-sponsored Chinese hackers targeted Indian electrical distribution centres near Ladakh for eight months as part of a cyberespionage effort. Meanwhile, the senior brass of the Indian Army and Air Force have been examining the readiness and infrastructure requirements along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), while the forces of India and China remain in a standoff in eastern Ladakh.

Following the hostility displayed by Chinese forces in April-May 2020, India has made various alterations to its deployments. India and China have been negotiating at both military and diplomatic levels to resolve the difficulties, but they have not been able to do so thus far, owing to Chinese reluctance. They presented a proposal that was unacceptable to the Indian side in recent negotiations to settle the Patroling Point 15 issue.

The Indian security apparatus, led by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, believes that the matter would be addressed only if China completes its pullout and returns to pre-April 2020 stances. The Indian side has significantly increased military deployments near the LAC. The Indian Air Force has also begun constructing sophisticated forward bases, including infrastructure to operate fighter planes and attack helicopters from forwarding bases such as Nyoma.


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