Sunday, February 15, 2009

Indian Ministry of External Affairs Suffers Malware Security Breach

Via The Indian Express.

At a time when all its energy is focused on post-Mumbai diplomacy with Pakistan and the world, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been hit by a cybersecurity nightmare.

Sources have confirmed to The Sunday Express that “several” of its over 600 computers have been infected by “spyware,” a programme that surreptitiously gets installed on a computer to track or take control of the user’s actions.

A detailed investigation is on to determine the damage as initial reports suggest the spyware is linked to a server located in China. Sources said the computers affected include those in the Ministry’s sensitive Pakistan section and in the offices of senior Secretaries and Joint Secretaries.

While the MEA, when contacted, had no official comment, sources said one of the glaring glitches was that each time an email would be sent from an “infected” computer, a copy of it would automatically go to another email ID. The problem was first noticed in the computers of one of the Ministers of State that is usually operated by the Minister’s personal staff.

More here.

Note: It is worthwhile to mention, at this point, that just because the "malware" mentioned above is somehow linked to an IP address in China, it does not mean that someone in China is somehow linked to this "attack". In fact, we have witnessed a lot of eastern European cyber criminals either exploiting hosts or weak/inefficient policies (think domain registrations) in China to perpetrate their crimes. -ferg

Props: The Dark Visitor


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