Chinese Cybersecurity Firms Identify India as Source of Recent Cyber Attacks, Shifting Focus from U.S

Contrary to expectations, Chinese cybersecurity firms reveal that India, not the U.S., is the source of recent concerning attacks. A report in the South China Morning Post details cyber campaigns targeting China and Pakistan linked to an Indian hacker group called “Bitter.”

Active since 2013, Bitter primarily hits government, military, and nuclear organizations using phishing and other techniques to steal data. The true impact is hard to quantify as incidents often go unreported. Experts suspect ties to other Indian groups and potential state sponsorship.

The latest attacks add tension atop a complex Sino-Indian relationship. The countries fought a war in 1962 won by China, humiliating India. In 2020, deadly border clashes erupted over Indian road construction along the Line of Actual Control. While shots have occasionally been fired since, the nations’ foreign ministries haven’t openly criticized one another regarding cyber campaigns.

India joins the U.S. in reprimanding China for cyber espionage and theft. However, Chinese firms now point to India as a significant source of attacks rather than the U.S. The latest cyberattacks linked to Bitter have hit not just rivals China and Pakistan but also Bangladesh and Mongolia.

So while China and the U.S. compete strategically amid periodic cooperation, India and China share some similarities in their rocky relationship. However, India now poses pressing cyberattack concerns for Chinese security experts rather than the U.S. This complicates tensions along the disputed Sino-Indian border as military clashes occasionally flare up.

In sum, complex diplomatic and security dynamics define ties between China, India and the U.S. Recent revelations about Indian cyber campaigns now further mix the interplay between rivalry and shared interests.