US group hacked top research institutes in India, Russia and China, says the cyber company in Beijing
US group hacked top research institutes in India, Russia and China, says the cyber company in Beijing

US group hacked top research institutes in India, Russia and China, says the cyber company in Beijing

Among the allegedly compromised sites were the Indian Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech), the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bengaluru and Banaras Hindu University

Among the allegedly compromised sites were the Indian Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech), the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bengaluru and Banaras Hindu University

A new report from a Beijing-based cyber security firm said hackers affiliated with the US National Security Agency (NSA) were found to have deployed “hidden backdoors” that may have given them access to sensitive information in dozens of countries. including India, Russia, China and Japan.

Among the reportedly compromised sites listed in the report were those linked to one of India’s best microbial research laboratories – the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research – as well as the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bengaluru. Websites affiliated with Banara Hindu University were also listed as being hacked.

Beijing-based cyber security firm Pangu Lab released a technical report explaining how it had found the back door and linked it to “unique identifiers in the NSA’s operating manuals” that had emerged in the 2013 leak of NSA files from insiders.

‘Shadow Brokers’

“In 2016 and 2017,” the report said, “‘Shadow Brokers’ released two batches of hacking files alleged to have been used by ‘The Equation Group.’ In these hacking files, researchers from Pangu Lab found the private key that could be used. to remotely trigger the backdoor Bvp47 … a hacking tool belonging to ‘The Equation Group’. identifier used in the NSA Network Attack Platform Operating Manual unveiled by CIA analyst Snowden in the 2013 PRISM incident. “

The report, which explained the technical aspects of how the back door worked, said that this was “a back door communication technology never seen before, suggesting an organization with strong technical capabilities behind it.”

“As an advanced attack tool, Bvp47 has allowed the world to see its complexity,” it said. “What is shocking is that after analysis, it has been realized that it may have existed for more than 10 years.”

The report listed dozens of websites – many universities and scientific research institutes – that had reportedly been compromised in countries, including both US opponents and allies and partners, ranging from India and Japan to China and Russia.

Rejection of U.S. claims

The report is being framed by the Chinese media as a refutation of US allegations of Chinese cyberhacking. China-related cyberattacks have targeted a number of US institutions and have become a difficult issue in US-China relations.

Indian agencies have also reported cyber attacks from China targeting a wide range of institutions, including government departments. The Union Power Ministry said last year that “state-sponsored” Chinese hacker groups had attacked various Indian power centers, but added that the groups have been thwarted after state cyber agencies warned of their activities. This followed a report from a US cyber security firm linking a major power outage in Mumbai in 2020 to hacking attacks by China-affiliated groups.

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