Cyber attacks a legitimate worry ahead of India-Pak Asia Cup clash

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 12, 2016 11:28 IST
India and Pakistan are scheduled to clash at least twice this year, in Asia Cup on March 2 and later in the T20 World Cup on March 19. (HT File Photo)

There’s nothing that gets India and Pakistan in a frenzy like a cricket match between the two national sides. But the delirium these matches are associated with are never restricted to the cricket stadium, and that in one of the reason why bilateral games between the two have been a non-starter.

Now, through a Recorded Future article, we learn that the ripples these matches create extend to the cyberspace as well, in the form of hacking.

Recorded Future, a company that observes online attacks and vulnerability of websites and provides firms with the technology and wherewithal to deal with it, says hacking across the border spikes whenever India play Pakistan. The revelation ads another dimension to geopolitical and social tension that is associated with the matches.

The report will be a concern to India’s cyber security organisations and the government as the Men in Blue are scheduled to play Pakistan in the 2016 Asia Cup, to be on a T20 format for the first time, on March 2 at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Bangladesh. The last time the two team clashed in Asia Cup, at the same venue, the repercussion extended to cyberspace and elsewhere.

On March 2, 2014, Pakistan defeated India by a wicket in the Asia Cup match. The next day (March 3), in Meerut, 67 Kashmiri students at Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU) were sent home for celebrating Pakistan’s victory. Later on March 5, 2014, the website of the University was hacked by a group claiming to be the Pakistan Cyber Army (a.k.a. Bangladesh Cyber Army) in response to expelling students.

Recorded Future expects similar cyber activities in the future matches of India and Pakistan as well. Besides the Asia Cup, the two teams will also clash in the World Cup, with their group match being scheduled to be held on March 19 at Dharamsala. There are, however, doubts over Pakistan’s participation at the World Cup.

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