Cyber Enemy

The silent world of cyber warfare does not seem as lethal as conven­tional warfare but penetrability in another country’s highly sen­sitive military and nuclear information is quite the damage. The recent revelations regarding cyberattacks originating from India and targeting countries like China and Pakistan highlight the growing com­plexity of cyber warfare in the region. Traditionally, it is easier to believe cyberattacks on China originating from the United States but the way Chinese have detected a persistent threat coming from hacker groups of India’s origin reveals the cyber threat to be locally founded.

The penetrability and sophistication of hacker groups and firms of In­dian origin must not be underestimated. Couple it with India’s knack for spyware and state sponsorship of such groups becomes evident and a possibility that cannot be ruled out. Attacking conventional en­emy countries, Pakistan and China, makes it all the more apparent that these groups are working under the patronage of the state. The tar­geting of military, nuclear, and government entities raises serious con­cerns about the potential consequences of such cyber operations.

For a country like China which remains vigilant of the threat emanating from cyberspace, it is easier to intercept and locate the attacks. As a secu­rity measure, China is also capable of erecting walls that secure its sensi­tive information from attacks. But for Pakistan, the threat is more vicious and dangerous. There is less cyber regulation and hence more vulnerabil­ity. Though India’s spyware raises serious law concerns and the cyberat­tacks are susceptible to a legal course. However, this domain requires ex­pertise, which is unfortunately missing in the case of Pakistan.

States using cyber means to get secret information from enemy states or to dislodge essential software is part of cyber warfare. The threat, when it originates from India, must be catered to. China and Pakistan are friend­ly countries and China has long dealt with cyberattacks coming from the US. It means that China is better equipped against such attacks and Paki­stan can utilise that experience to make its systems more secure and less porous. The first step is to acknowledge the threat as credible and lethal. It is an open secret that international regulations fall short when it comes to less privileged countries. The international law exists to benefit a few. Hence, every country is on its own to enhance its capacity and build a non-penetrable cyber cloud around sensitive military and nuclear information.

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