By Lu Chuanying
A Chinese cybersecurity company recently released a report saying that it has captured a state-level hacking organization in India launching cyber attacks against China and Pakistan, with a clear aim at sensitive military departments. Based on online tracking for a long time, the company has found that this hacking organization has become one of the most active and mature hacking organizations in South Asia.
This was not the first time that Indian hacking organizations were exposed to launch cyber attacks on other countries, and it can be seen from the report that the organization is obviously backed by state forces of India. Cyberspace is not a land beyond law. All countries, including China, attach great importance to cybersecurity. The rampant cyber-attacks launched by Indian hacking organizations against neighboring countries have caused serious adverse effects on regional security and stability, and will create major hurdles to the future cybersecurity cooperation of international organizations such as SCO and BRICS.
By launching online attacks against its neighboring countries so unscrupulously, India risks violating the cyber codes worked out by the UN Group of Governmental Experts (NGGE) and relevant provisions of international law. The international community should demand India immediately stop the cyber-attacks and make sure it will never do that.
India claims to be a country of cyber democracy and has been dancing to America’s tune in cybersecurity. On the one hand, it has been smearing China’s image online without any evidence whatsoever; on the other hand, it is engaging the deal to violate international norms and international law. New Delhi seems to have forgotten that India is also a developing country in the field of cyberspace and it is also facing immense cyber security risks. Its cyber-attacks on neighboring countries may court revenge, which it is obviously not capable enough to fend off.
India has recently strengthened its interactions with the US, the chief online eavesdropper, in the field of cybersecurity and pointed its guns at China, which makes people wonder whether it has stooped to being America’s page boy in global cyber surveillance. New Delhi should not forget that according to Snowden, it was also a victim of America’s cyberattacks. However, instead of learning a lesson, India seems to have decided to turn a blind eye to that and take side with the attacker, which further cements its image as an irresponsible cyber state.
What India has done once again sounded an alarm bell for us – cybersecurity has become a real risk now. As the US has been wantonly militarizing the cyberspace, more countries are following suit and developing offensive cyber forces. As a result, the threshold for applying state-level cyber-attacks has been gradually and greatly lowered, the frequency of such attacks continuously increased and the targets of attacks increasingly diversified and more extensive, so much so that the global cybersecurity situation is deteriorating day by day.
What's worth special attention is that the US, India and Japan are weaving a cybersecurity encirclement around China, insidiously conducting cyber-attacks and origin-tracing activities against China, and stealing sensitive information from essential departments. It is they that are creating the mounting cybersecurity risks faced by China.
China has always been a responsible country when it comes to cyberspace. It opposes cyberattacks of any form and is willing to sign a treaty on cybersecurity with other countries on the basis of equal consultation.
In face of the worsening cybersecurity situation, we need to intensify our defensive capability, take the initiative to detect and expose those countries that attack us online, and deter the attackers that endanger our national security. Moreover, we need to take further steps to counter those countries and hacking organizations, and more direct and effective countermoves against those attackers that have long harmed our national security in defiance of warning and objection.
(The author is Secretary General of the Cyberspace International Governance Research Center and Senior Research Fellow of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies)
Editor's note: This article is originally published on huanqiu.com, and is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.