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Home / World News / Indian hackers targeting Chinese medical institutes amid coronavirus outbreak, says report

Indian hackers targeting Chinese medical institutes amid coronavirus outbreak, says report

The Chinese tech security company 360 Security Technology told the nationalistic tabloid Global Times that they have evidence that India-based hackers attacked medical organisations.

world Updated: Feb 06, 2020 19:57 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Medical workers inspect the CT (computed tomography) scan image of a patient at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University following an outbreak of the new coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province.
Medical workers inspect the CT (computed tomography) scan image of a patient at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University following an outbreak of the new coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province. (REUTERS)

A Chinese internet security firm has alleged that Indian hackers have targeted local hospitals and medical research institutions amid the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in the country, according to a state media report.

The Chinese tech security company 360 Security Technology told the nationalistic tabloid Global Times that they have evidence that India-based hackers attacked medical organisations through a “phishing scheme” sent by email.

The company didn’t share the evidence or specific examples of the attack.

“Cases have shown that an Advance Persistent Threat (APT) from India is trying to attack Chinese medical organisations through a phishing scheme sent by email,” the company said.

The internet security firm Kaspersky defines APT as an online attack, which uses

“…continuous, clandestine, and sophisticated hacking techniques to gain access to a system and remain inside for a prolonged period of time, with potentially destructive consequences.”

The Chinese company said that the attackers using documents titled “Preventive measures to cope with coronavirus” and “Application form of Wuhan passengers” as bait, are trying to “…obtain sensitive information by tricking people into visiting a website carrying a virus”.

The attack could paralyse computing systems and obtain sensitive medical data, according to 360 Security Technology.

“The APT from India mainly conducts spying activities in the Asian region targeting China and Pakistan to obtain sensitive information, such as scientific research and education related content,” 360 Security Technology noted.

“The attack might be an individual action, but it hurts Chinese feelings toward India and Indian people, and may cool China-India relations, which are still at a low point,” Zhao Gancheng from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the tabloid on Thursday.

“The Indian government has yet to express a friendly gesture and support for China amid the coronavirus outbreak, which may be due to the Kashmir-related controversy,” Zhao said.

The Hindustan Times has sent out questions to both the Chinese company and the foreign ministry for comments on the allegations.

ht epaper

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