Chinese hackers are thought to be behind an attack against India’s naval computer systems located in Visakhaptnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command. Hackers planted a bug in this highly contained facility to steal and send sensitive data to some IP addresses in China, according to The Indian Express on Sunday.
The sniffing tool was found in the naval computers exactly as INS Arihant, Indiaâ€™s first nuclear missile submarine, was in trials at the targeted facility in Visakhaptnam.
The malware created a hidden folder, where it gathered only certain files specifically searched for after key words included in its code. The virus stayed hidden on the flash drives until they were plugged in to computers with Internet access when they would silently send the collected files to specific IP addresses believed to be in China.
It is too soon to determine the extent of the damage with respect to the stolen sensitive data from the navy systems, but apparently some six officers implicated in these current procedures have already been found as vulnerable to this security breach.
Officials of the Indian Navy stated for The Indian Express that â€œan inquiry has been convened and findings of the report are awaited. It needs to be mentioned that there is a constant threat in the cyber domain from inimical hackers worldwide.â€
Despite the fact that customarily, sensitive data is stored solely on standalone systems with no Internet connection, there are voices saying unauthorized use of flash drives may have caused data leaks and facilitated the breach.
This type of attack seems to be the trend in todayâ€™s cyber environment, as itâ€™s only weeks since the world marveled in discovering the offenses of Flamer, a relative of other notorious cyber weapons such as Stuxnet or Duqu.