On Monday, Canadian and American computer security researchers announced they had unconvered a Chinese cyber espionage gang that broke into classified documents of the Indian defence ministry, Indian embassies, and Indian corporate houses like Tatas and DLF.
From some reports (here, here, here) it appears as if they also hacked into the systems of India’s largest English language newspaper: The Times of India.
“From the recovered IP addresses we were able to identify the following entities of interest,” says the report on page 35, naming The Times of India as the only media house that was targetted.
Of the 44 computers, the hackers broke into, 35 were from India in cities ranging from Delhi to Bangalore and Calcutta. A total of 2,945 IP addresses in India were compromised.
Although the group’s business daily The Economic Times, reported the Times as being one of the targets of the attack, The Times of India‘s report from Washington D.C., made no mention.
The Times of India‘s main competitor in Bombay, DNA, too reported ToI being under attack.
The Times of India is one of the few Indian media outlets to have a correpondent based in Beijing.
While the hackers predictably were interested in India’s missile systems, Maoist and northeast threats, and the Dalai Lama, one report said computers of journalists working on Jammu and Kashmir were broken into, but it is possible that these journalists are those on defence journals like Strategic and FORCE.
The Times of India was in the eye of a Chinese storm last year when the Congress-led UPA government threatened to file a first information report (FIR) against two journalists of the paper, Nirmalya Banerjee and Prabin Kalita, for filing a wrong report on Indian casualties in border skirmishes with China, in the name of “national security”. The move was later shelved.
Read the full report: Shadows in the cloud
Screenshot: courtesy CNET